Council staff will be taught how to cross a road in a bizarre bid to combat pedestrian-related accidents in Brisbane.
Like school children, Brisbane City Council’s 7,500 staff will be educated in road safety, including where is the safest place to cross and mobile phone use, under a trial program funded by taxpayers.
Managers will be required to ‘model the desired behaviour’, according to the interim report into pedestrian safety.
But opposition councillors and social media users have slammed the initiative, labeling the training as ‘ridiculous’.
Brisbane City Council is developing a program that will encourage its staff not to use their cellphones while cross the road
Social media users have also sided with the opposition, with some people calling the initiative ’embarrassing’.
‘Next week we learn how to make breakfast and brush our teeth. Jesus the human race is dumbing down big time,’ one person commented.
‘Do they also need potty training?’ another person asked.
2GB radio host Alan Jones told Sunrise how to cross a road is something people are taught when they are four or five, not as an adult.
‘If you get to that stage of your life without knowing how to cross the road, you are in big trouble.’
Opposition transport spokesman Jared Cassidy said there were better ways to solve the safety issue than the ‘nanny state’ approach.
‘We think it’s a bit ridiculous. It misses the point of the whole issue,’ he said.
‘What’s next holding hands while crossing roads?’
Part of the debate was that people weren’t paying attention when crossing roads, he said.
‘But I don’t really buy that,’ he said.
‘The main issue is we’ve got a CBD where pedestrians aren’t given the priority, there’s more priority given to vehicles.’
In July a pedestrian was hit on the corner of Creek and Adelaide streets in Brisbane. It was the same area where a woman was killed after she was hit by a bus in May
He would like to see a lower speed limit trialed in the CBD instead.
BCC’s Infrastructure Chairman Amanda Cooper said the council was dedicated to improving safety and was developing the campaign to promote positive pedestrian behaviour, The Courier Mail reported.
The program, which is still in development, will be made available for other employers and schools.
There will also be ‘co-ordinated behavioural change and enforcement approach’ developed with the police as part of a broader city safety campaign.
The strategy comes after a string of tragic incidents involving pedestrians.
In July, a pedestrian was hit on the corner of Creek and Adelaide streets.
In May, a woman was killed after she was hit by a bus on the same corner, ABC reported.
Royal Automobile Club of Queensland spokesman Paul Turner said there had been an increase in incidents involving pedestrians and vehicles in the CBD.
‘All of us — and we’re all pedestrians at some stage — need to take responsibility for our actions,’ he said.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced new and upgraded pedestrian crossings for Brisbane’s CBD, as well as a reduced speed limit on Ann Street, in response to the interim report on Brisbane City Council’s Pedestrian Safety Review.