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New Zealand EA in court for driving over pedestrian

The EA to Auckland’s mayor Len Brown has pleaded guilty in court after she drove over a pedestrian in a shared zone championed by her boss.

Courtney Riesterer appeared in court earlier this week following the April incident, in which she ran over a pedestrian in the city centre in a zone that has been designated “shared” between vehicles and pedestrians. In these zones, the distinction between road and footpath has been removed.

Riesterer was leaving her office’s underground car park and failed to notice Kimiko Haba, who was taking a picture of the city’s famous Sky Tower, standing with her back to the exit. Riesterer knocked Haba over with the front right of her car and drove over her, stopping with her trapped under the vehicle.

Haba said her pelvis was broken in four places and her arm in two. She appeared in court using a crutch after the accident also left her with torn knee ligaments.

A court summary of facts says that Riesterer acted carelessly by not ensuring the way was clear before leaving the car park. In court, Haba said the focus needs be on the fact that the new shared zones are a hazard, to which Judge Thorburn agreed.

Mayor Brown is an advocate for the spaces, which he said are “safer and more attractive” in 2012. He has yet to comment on whether his EA’s incident will have any effect on his opinion.

Defence lawyer Stuart Blake said there would be a “substantial” emotional-harm payment to assist Haba with her care and rehabilitation.

Read the original article by the New Zealand Herald at