Wellington: NZ’s jaywalking capital

Wellington: NZ’s jaywalking capital | Stuff.co.nz.

I wrote a while ago about Wellington’s odd pedestrian culture, about the people stepping out onto the street at inopportune moments without bothering to check that the vehicles around them could see them and stop if necessary.

It turns out that it’s not just my imagination; Wellingtonians really are foolhardy pedestrians, and their foolhardiness translates into more pedestrian fatalities here than anywhere else in the country.

People like to blame the traffic layouts, bus drivers, car drivers, lack of crossings and street lights, poor signage, insufficient separation between footpaths and roads, and so on.  And it’s true that Wellington’s streets are narrow, confusing, and busy.  But, it seems to me that the peculiar pedestrian culture is the main issue.  The locals seem to have forgotten that if you play chicken with a car you’ll lose; it’s physics and you can’t argue with physics…

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