The Carterton pedestrian crossing where Jane Davis was injured on July 4. On Friday night, a car speeds across in front of pedestrians. PHOTO/ELI HILL

Mixed opinions about pedestrian crossing

GIANINA SCHWANECKE and ELI HILL

The woman hospitalised after being hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing in Carterton last week has been identified as Carterton District Council chief executive Jane Davis.

Davis’ leg was broken in two places requiring surgery, and she was listed in a stable condition in Wairarapa Hospital on Friday eight days after the accident on Thursday, July 4.

Jane Davis. PHOTO/FILE

Davis, who is in her mid-50s, had gone to cross High St at 5.20pm when she was struck by a car driven by an elderly woman who had been driving slowly, making it appear as if she would stop.

Wairarapa Police response manager Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen said the elderly woman was “pretty shook up” by the incident. She said the woman wouldn’t usually have been driving at that time.

The attending officer didn’t believe lighting was a factor in the crash though it was pouring with rain, Hansen said.

“It’s a reminder for people to be vigilant in wet weather conditions and for people on crossings to be sure that the vehicle has seen them and is going to stop.

“If the car is between the diamond and the crossing, they might not be able to stop.”

A decision was still being made about whether or not charges would be laid.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council manager Bruce Pauling said it was incumbent on both drivers and pedestrians to follow certain safety processes at crossings.

“If someone has stepped on to or is waiting on the side, legally the driver has to stop and give way.”

He encouraged drivers to scan the pedestrian crossing on approach, especially in wet or night-time conditions when visibility was poor.

It was also important for pedestrians to give drivers time to see them and react.

Pauling also suggested making eye contact with drivers to check if it was safe to cross.

The Times-Age spoke to businesses near the crossing, and there was a consensus that it was dangerous.

“With the bins and the cars parked there you just can’t see – I crawl right up to it,” one person said.

“We hear cars slamming on their brakes each day and we’re just waiting for it to happen.”

“It wouldn’t be a light issue,” another said, “It’s just a dangerous crossing, and people often step out on to it without checking. We heard about it, but only secondhand, most of the businesses here close
before that time.”

Not everyone agreed that the crossing was dangerous with one businessman saying it had been the first time he’d heard of an incident on the crossing.

Carterton Mayor John Booth said Davis was “doing well” and still recovering from surgery.

Davis has been with CDC since 2015, and her contract was recently extended for another two years.