Pedestrians need to be ?educated
By PETER CATON
A LOCAL taxi driver fears the Tweed faces potential pedestrian crossing tragedies because too few pedestrians bother to check the traffic.
In the wake of the recent accident involving Sophie Delezio, pedestrian safety has been thrown into the national spotlight.
Former Murwillumbah fish and chip shop operator Pavlo Kaleyias knows all too well how dangerous the road can be.
Mr Kaleyias has been driving a cab in the town for the past 12 months and he said he was constantly amazed at the arrogance and carelessness of pedestrians.
Yesterday he said he was compelled to speak out following five-year-old Sophie's accident, where the car was being driven by an elderly man on the inside lane at a four-lane pedestrian crossing.
The NSW government has installed traffic lights at the pedestrian cross- ing and promised to audit all cross- ings on four-lane roads throughout the state.
Murwillumbah has two such crossings, one outside the Sunnyside Mall shopping centre and another further west beside Knox Park.
Tweed Heads has one near the Tweed Centro shopping centre.
Most other four-lane crossings in the Tweed have traffic lights.
While not suggesting that Sophie or her carer were in any way to blame for the terrible accident, Mr Kaleyias said he could foresee an accident just as bad or worse happening in Murwillumbah because people forget to "look left, then right then left again".
"After 3pm, when the kids come out of school, you just have to watch them cross the road," he said.
"They put a foot down on the crossing and they assume once they put the foot down all the cars will stop.
"But they just go straight out.
"Everyone in town is talking about problems with traffic here. The problem is with pedestrians.
"They have to start putting signs up saying 'Stop, look left and right'."
Mr Kaleyias also urged parents to impress on their children the need to stop and look before crossing.