Planning needed to deal with ‘wonky walking’

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Planning needed to deal with ‘wonky walking’


30 June 2015

An American academic who specialises in both adolescent psychology and regional planning will discuss whether mobile devices are turning teens into wonky walkers when he addresses a free public seminar at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 1 July.

Seth LaJeunesse from the University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Centre says distracted walking needs to be considered in much the same way as distracted driving.

“Especially among adolescents, walking-related injuries have soared in recent years, as growing numbers of young people take to listening to music, texting and talking on the phone while walking,” he said.

Mr LaJeunesse will discuss observation of local teens’ walking behavior, how other communities are trying to tackle the issue of distracted walking, and the directions for future research in this field.

His talk about ’Distracted walking: How device-carrying teens are changing the study of pedestrian safety’ will be one of four presentations at the public seminar at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium from 9am to noon.

The seminar – ‘Dangerous Driving and Wonky Walking: Improving Teen Road Safety’ – is aimed at anyone interested in adolescent safety, including parents, teachers, academics and policy makers and is also open to teens.

The other presentations will be:

Registrations for the seminar can be made online via For more details phone 5456 5595 or email

— Terry Walsh

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