Three pedestrian deaths in Sydney’s CBD in less than six months have prompted the introduction of a 40km/h speed zone in the city.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay says there were four pedestrians killed in the CBD between 2008 and 2013, and three in the first half of 2014.
“More than 90 per cent of trips made every day in the Sydney CBD are made on foot,” Mr Gay said on Monday.
“We know that speed is a critical factor for the safety of pedestrians.
“A vehicle that hits a pedestrian at 50km/h is twice as likely to cause a fatality as the same vehicle travelling 10km/h slower.”
There is already a 40km/h area in The Rocks north of the CBD, which will be extended to cover the area bounded by Hay, Kent, Pitt and Castlereagh streets by the end of the year.
Mr Gay has also called on pedestrians to take road safety more seriously by always crossing at the lights, obeying traffic signals, and not getting distracted by phones or music.
The Pedestrian Council of Australia has long called for a 40km/h speed limit in Sydney’s CBD and renewed its campaign earlier this month, after two pedestrians were killed a day apart and within blocks of one another.
In the first incident, a street artist died after being hit by 42-seater coach in Chinatown.
The following day a man was struck and killed by a bus at the junction of George and Liverpool streets.
“The danger arises especially in the evenings when people may be drunk, when people are hurrying home from work and when the light is bad,” pedestrian council chairman Harold Scruby said then.
“And then you get motorists speeding up to try and beat the next set of traffic lights.
“There’s no doubt a 40km/h limit would lessen the danger.”