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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Driver deliberately hits jogger - Wellington Police

"The driver of a car that struck a jogger near Shelly Bay in Wellington this morning allegedly drove across the centre line to deliberately hit the woman.

Jolie Dickson was jogging in a southward direction along Massey Rd, in Maupuia, just north of the Shelly Bay Naval Base about 9.35am. She ran past a parked vehicle where she saw a man rifling through the boot of his car.

Shortly after, she was hit from behind by a vehicle, which threw her on to the grass on the side of the road. She stood up and made eye contact with the driver, recognising him as the same man she had seen earlier, before he drove off towards the Naval Base.

Constable Layton Sanders said the driver would have had to cross the road into the oncoming lane to collide with Ms Dickson. Ms Dickson was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

She had been wearing an iPod so did not hear the oncoming vehicle.

The man was described as Caucasian, in his mid to late 30s, with a fat build, and fat legs, dark hair cut straight across the fringe, wearing a T-shirt and black shorts. He was driving a silver sedan, possibly a Mazda, with a crack on the drivers' side of the front windscreen and damage to the front driver's side panel. "

Gary Moller comments:Running or cycling on the road is hazardous to one's health at the best of times. Add nutters, inattentive drivers and angry and stressed people who will do harm at the slightest provocation and the life of the pedestrian and cyclist is definitely at risk. Part of staying safe is being acutely alert. Acute hearing is your first line of defense. Massey Rd is a winding coastal road and one is easily startled by speeding cars coming from behind or around corners. Its a lovely, quite isolated road to run or cycle; but you must be alert at all times.

The huge marketing push of iPods and other personal sound devices at runners and cyclists is causing a road safety problem.

It is the sound of a truck or car coming from behind that is your warning to move to the side and prepare for the blast of wind that follows. Hearing is your first warning of a person coming up from behind or of a no-gooder lurking in the bushes ready to pounce.

Just last month I was almost taken out when riding my bike by a female jogger who stepped out to cross the road right in front of me. She was wearing an iPod and was unable to hear my warning cries. Fortunately, I was able to stop just centimeters from her.

Stay Meerkat safe!

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