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Friday, August 24, 2007

Jaywalking In Melbourne

By Rebecca Beisler

Jaywalkers who ignore the little red man save just two minutes and 25 seconds on a three-block walk. An mX test has revealed exactly how much time a pedestrian can save by turning a blind eye to stop signals. It is about the same time it takes to listen to Whatever Makes You Happy by Bernard Fanning or Dancing Shoes by the Arctic Monkeys on your Wed. But police have warned that while the extra couple of minutes may be enough time to grab a coffee or put on your lipstick, it is not worth it.

In a major blitz on pedestrians, police have nabbed almost 600 people this week-for failing to obey traffic lights. Police slapped 136 jaywalkers with a $55 fine and 457 were given a warning. An mX time trial found that a walk from Flinders St station to Melbourne Central takes a pedestrian 11 minutes and 18 seconds when stopping at traffic lights. The same walk, by a jaywalker, takes 8 minutes and 53 seconds.

The total time saved is just under two and a half minutes but Supt Stephen Leane said it is not worth the risk. So far this year 96 pedestrians have been hit by cars, compared with 58 at the same time last year. "That's another 38 people who do not come home in the same condition as they came into the city;" Leane said. Four pedestrians have been killed on the road since January. "It is worth 2.5 minutes?" he said.

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