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Third of people cross road using mobile

13th December 2012

British charities and motoring organisations have stressed the importance of pedestrians being aware of road conditions when using mobile phones.

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The warning comes after a study, published in the journal Injury Prevention, revealed that almost a third of pedestrians are using their mobile phones while crossing the road.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said that looking properly when walking was as important as when driving.

Spokesman Kevin Clinton said it was important that people should take care not to be dangerously distracted, whether by mobile phones, listening to music or being caught up in conversations with other people.

He added: “Being able to use all of your senses while you are on the road is important and using mobile phones can, of course, be distracting. It is important to be aware when interacting with traffic.”

The US study of more than 1,000 people crossing 20 different roads in Seattle found that 10% were listening to music, 7% were texting and 6% were having conversations on phones.

Texters were four times more likely to ignore red lights or fail to look both ways before crossing and took almost two seconds longer to cross a three to four lane junction.

Department of Transport estimates point to a 5% rise in the numbers of pedestrian casualties in the year from June 2011 and the AA said there had been tragic deaths “through people forgetting their immediate spatial environment.”

Spokesman Edmund King added: “Road users need to be tuned into what’s a happening around them.”

 

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