Road body calls for phone laws
Authorities say it may one day be illegal to use a mobile phone while crossing the road.
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner has proposed penalties similar to jay-walking in an effort to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries.
“We think that sort of offence is on its way. There's no doubt about it,” he said.
In Queensland alone, five pedestrians have been hit and killed in the past month.
“You stand at one of those intersections in the CBD for half an hour and you'll see five or 10 people just being saved or stopping themselves from walking out into traffic because they were looking down at their phone,” Mr Turner said.
“When you tap them on the shoulder and they look up it's as though they've been in some sort of daze because they are so engrossed in their phone.
“We haven't spoken to the authorities about the idea of a fine, but it is really an issue which has come to the fore in Queensland in the past few months with so many recent deaths.”
The Pedestrian Council of Australia wants to go the other way, calling for 30 kilometre per hour speed limits in built-up areas.
The council says this would bring local speed limits in line with other countries.
The RACQ said the problem needs a broader solution, including fines and public education campaigns.
“You can do whatever about speed limits but if you get hit by a car at 30 or 40 kays an hour, you're still going to be in a lot of trouble,” Mr Turner said.
“This is about looking up — you do not cross a road with your head down and your phone on.”