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Pedestrian crackdown: Calls to tackle a ‘modern phenomenon’ with $200 fines

Melbourne needs to crackdown on distracted pedestrians with tougher rules, big fines and more policing, according to a peak body.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia is leading the nation-wide campaign in a bid to stop a growing toll on the road.

“Road trauma costs Australia about $30 billion per year … and pedestrians are the one’s increasing that figure,” council chief Harold Scruby told Ross and John.

“It’s a modern phenomenon and we’ve just got to attack it with proper penalties.”

He wants to see $200 fines for inattention, and more people cracking down on pedestrians ignore traffic lights or use the roads unsafely.

“We think there’s a major greater role for council rangers,” Mr Scruby said.

“Why can’t they help? The money would go straight back to council.

“If we want to change behaviour, yes let’s advertise … but the big thing is to enforce the law and we just don’t see it ever.”

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Mr Scruby also had an almost-violent reaction to Burnso asking about J-walking.

“It’s an American term that no one knows where it comes from, and it’s an idiotic term,” he said.

“What is a ‘J’.”