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‘No surprise’ someone hit

Bundaberg Police are warning people to make sure they are wearing reflective clothing if they are walking at night to be safe.
Bundaberg Police are warning people to make sure they are wearing reflective clothing if they are walking at night to be safe. Rasica

A NEAR fatal crash in North Bundaberg where a Korean backpacker was hit by a car was an accident waiting to happen, according to increasingly-concerned residents in the area.

The 24-year-old was hit after walking out in front of the car at the intersection of Gavin and Wolca St about 7pm last Saturday.

Gavin St resident Dallas Hayes said he was not surprised when he heard about the crash, and that the intersection of Gavin and Queen Sts was notorious for near-misses with backpackers, who showed an apparent lack of commonsense when it came to road rules.

"They walk blindly out front and you've got to pull up quickly or you'll hit them," he said.

"They're walking out like sheep - they just don't look."

With hostels in the area, Mr Hayes said many backpackers walked along the roadways deep in conversation with friends, or listening to music and therefore being unaware of their surroundings.

"We teach our kids to look left-right-left, but (the travellers) just don't get it."

And it is pedestrians wearing headphones and listening to loud music that is of great concern to police.

Sergeant Mike Brown said while he understood many people did it, whether they were walking to and from home or, in particular, while exercising, it was putting them in great danger.

"You shouldn't have the music loud enough that you black out your surroundings," he said.

"All senses start to slow down when you are exercising heavily.

"Your hearing stops, your peripheral vision shuts down - you have to look around."

Sgt Brown, who is also an avid runner, said you can't "block out the world and go for a run".

"You can't hear if a truck is coming, or a person," Sgt Brown said.

"My preference is to always run with only one headphone in.

"If you want 100% protection and be in a bubble, stay home and listen to your stereo as loud as you like."

Sgt Brown said it was important to ensure pedestrians wore high visibility clothing if out at night.

Sgt Brown also suggested people check and ensure the reflecting tape on jogging shoes was not worn or damaged.

"Pedestrians do get right of way but they have to keep a look out as well," he said.

"A pedestrian's got the onus to not cut the vehicle off as well."

Night Safety

Wear high visibility clothing and a light

Ensure reflecting tape on jogging shoes is not damaged

Walk or exercise without headphones, or with only one in your ear

Always go against the traffic

Try and walk on pavements, grass nature strips or the shoulder of the road if there's heavy traffic

Stick to well-lit areas

Always carry a mobile phone

Topics:  accident backpacker bundaberg police



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