MOTORISTS are being urged to slow down and be mindful of pedestrians, as stories emerge of near misses on Foster’s new zebra crossing on Main Street.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Cr Ray Argento and a Mirror journalist are among the pedestrians who have had a close encounter with a car.
“This is a designated pedestrian crossing and motorists must give way to people,” Foster Police Sgt. Neil Coates said.
Victorian law requires motorists approach a pedestrian crossing slowly enough to stop if required, keeping crossings clear, give way to pedestrians and not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at the crossing.
The fine for failing to give way to a pedestrian is $277. The fine for passing a stopped vehicle at a pedestrian crossing is $396.
A Facebook post from the Foster Chamber of Commerce urged drivers to exercise caution on the new crossing.
“We now have a pedestrian crossing in Foster. This means vehicles MUST give way to pedestrians at this clearly marked and signed crossing. Pedestrians please continue to use common sense whilst drivers get used to another change in the street,” it said.
Some respondents admitted they have driven through the crossing without noticing, while one pedestrian who experienced a near miss, wrote: “No harm done at all to me, I have had a clear alert to the new potential for an accident here as everyone adjusts to the change. This IS a good move that will improve pedestrian safety long term. Please take care.”
Inside Out Clothing manager Shannon Clearihan-Jervies is hoping the new addition to the town’s streetscape will help keep pedestrians safer.
“Working here I see everything. It can be bedlam some afternoons, with buses, cars and people – and no designated place they can cross. A lot of people just walk,” she said.
“I watch people cross the roads and they’ve just got their heads down. I think now that the zebra crossing is there, they’ll prefer to walk down and cross there rather than take their chances somewhere else.
“Even the walkway looks fantastic. The town’s looking good. It’s great.”