Judge knocks Dunedin’s traffic lights setup

by Sol Dolor13 Jan 2017
A Dunedin District Court judge has criticised the setup of the city’s traffic lights saying it was “an accident waiting to happen.”
 
Judge Kevin Phillips was commenting, the NZ Herald reports, as a traffic accident case he wished would be a catalyst for change was before him in court on Wednesday.
 
'”In my view there is an ongoing difficulty in relation to pedestrians on the streets of Dunedin, where green lights allowing vehicles to move forward are not governed by arrows in relation to right turning,” the judge said.
 
“This was just an accident waiting to happen and something needs to be done about it.”
 
Koriana Fay Osborne, the defendant in the case before the District Court, hit a pedestrian while turning right from Castle St into Hanover St when the lights turned green. The pedestrian was also signalled by a green light to cross.
 
She suffered from whiplash, delayed concussion, a fractured foot and ligament damage. She was in plaster for three weeks and wore a moon boot for six, the publication noted.
 
She said she bore no grudge against Osborne, however, and said the incident was clearly an accident. Osborne immediately attended to the victim after the collision and had sent flowers and a card while she was recovering.
 
In scathing comments directed at the city council, the judge said that the “council carry a major responsibility for not looking at the way lights are set up.”
 
“The people who should really be here [in court] are the people who put the lights in place, did what they did and designed them,” he is quoted saying.
 
The judge dismissed Osborne’s case without conviction but she has been banned from driving for six months. Judge Phillips also agreed that the substantial pillars of the Ford Ranger Osborne was driving affected the defendant’s ability to check the right side of the vehicle for pedestrians.
 
The court heard that Osborne had been working to enter the Police College and a conviction meant she would have had to give up her dream of becoming a police officer.

 
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