Watch Friday, bloody Friday

By Chloe Johnson

A pleasant stroll in the city can turn to tragedy in blink of an eye.

Great North Road revealed as Auckland's most dangerous road. Photo / NZ Herald
Great North Road revealed as Auckland's most dangerous road. Photo / NZ Herald

Friday is the most dangerous day for a stroll in the city.

Documents released to the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act reveal on what days pedestrians were killed or seriously injured after being hit by vehicles in Auckland during the past three years.

Fifty-four were struck on Fridays - twice as many as on Tuesdays at 25 and still much more than the 31 on Saturdays.

Almost half of Friday crashes involving pedestrians occurred after 6pm.

Auckland Transport road manager Andrew Bell said there were more people on the street on Friday nights compared with other days of the week.

"On Friday you have late-night pedestrians, particularly in the CBD there are drunk pedestrians and at night it's harder to see them," Bell said.

He said the number of fatalities and serious injuries involving young adults had increased during the last three years. However, the overall pedestrian casualties, including an alarming number of children, had decreased.

Living Streets Aotearoa president Andy Smith said people were more likely to be drunk or in a rush on Fridays.

"People are busy to get home or go on holiday in their cars."

Smith, who created the Eye See You campaign, said there needed to be better communication between drivers and pedestrians. "It's about making eye contact," Smith said.

Meanwhile, the statistics reveal the most dangerous road in Auckland is Great North Rd.

During the past three years, 14 people were killed or seriously injured on the busy road which runs through Grey Lynn, Pt Chevalier and Waterview.

Other dangerous roads include New North Rd and Victoria St West.

New Zealand Transport spokesman Andy Knackstedt said the Government spent about $200,000 this year to help improve the safety of pedestrians on Auckland streets.

A campaign aimed at pedestrian safety is expected to be launched by the NZTA, Auckland Transport, police and ACC in February.

- Herald on Sunday

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