Sharing with pedestrians Lessons Note

As a driver, you often face situations involving pedestrians, and you must be prepared to stop for them. Pedestrians may be unaware of the road rules or for other reasons enter the road environment unexpectedly.

You should slow down and be very careful in darkness and other low-visibility situations (e.g. rain) as more than half of pedestrian fatalities occur during these times.

Be extra alert around the elderly, children and those affected by alcohol or drugs as they may be less alert themselves

Pedestrians include people on foot, skateboards, rollerblades, and any wheeled devices (e.g. motorised mobility devices). A person pushing a bicycle is considered to be a pedestrian.

It's not uncommon for stressed pedestrians to cross the road without looking

When driving in populated areas, watch out for pedestrians at all times. Even if a pedestrian is in the wrong, you are still obliged to avoid a collision.

Situations when you should be careful:

  • Near parked cars or stopped buses as passengers might be getting off unexpectedly
  • Near intersections where pedestrians cross
  • Near busy places (e.g. shop
  • Near clubs, hotels and restaurants etc. (where people are drinking)
  • Near children
  • Near schools, especially around start and finish times
  • Near crowds
  • In areas where elderly are likely to be. They can be visually impaired and/or have reduced hearing, and thus not realise there is approaching traffic
  • If a pedestrian is using a guide dog, a walking stick or a white cane. Those are signs that they are vision impaired

As pedestrians are vulnerable, they are unlikely to survive collisions with vehicles travelling at speeds exceeding 40 km/h.

Remember that you must give way to pedestrians at crossings, when entering/exiting a driveway and when turning at intersections.

Some pedestrian give way rules

There are many situations where you must give to pedestrians. Pedestrians are vulnerable in a crash, and they are therefore protected by the road rules. Never overtake another vehicle that has stopped or is stop

Pedestrian crossings

Pedestrian crossings are usually marked by white stripes on the road (commonly known as ‘zebra markings’), and can have zig zag lines leading up to the crossing. The zig zag lines are used to warn drivers of a crossing that they may not see (e.g. if the crossing is after a curve).

Car B must give way to the lady on the crossing

Drivers must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. Always approach at a safe speed from which you are able to stop well in time for the crossing. Be aware that pedestrians may suddenly step onto the crossing without looking for approaching vehicles.

Pedestrian refuges

A pedestrian refuge is an island in the middle of the road. It helps pedestrians to safely cross a road by separating the crossing into two parts.

Children’s crossings

Children's crossings are highlighted by red and white posts with or without flags displaying 'CHILDREN CROSSING'

Children’s crossings are part-time crossings that operate during hours when children are likely to cross (e.g. lunch time and just before/after school hours).

Approach with great care, and at a speed from which you can safely stop. Children are unpredictable and could at any moment run out onto the road.

Some children’s crossings have supervisors to help the children cross the road safely. Wait until everyone has crossed the road and the crossing supervisor has returned to the footpath before moving.

Even if there is no supervisor around, you must stop and give way to pedestrians at flagged children’s crossings. You must remain stopped until the crossing is completely clear of pedestrians.

School buses

School buses are indicated by either a “SCHOOL BUS” sign and/or a sign picturing two children. They use flashing rear wigwag lights and flash their headlights to show that they are picking up or drop

Be very careful when driving past a bus with its lights flashing! Children may be about to cross the road at any moment. Slow down, and don't pass at more than 40 km/h.

School bus stop zone

These signs specify that you must drive at 40 km/h because you are near a school bus stop with children likely to be in the vicinity. The speed limit only applies when a bus with flashing rear wigwag lights is within the zone.

School zones

School zones have lower speed limits to reduce the risk of children being hurt by traffic and are identified by signs. School zones generally apply during the morning and the afternoon on school days, or as signed. Be alert and prepared to stop when you see a school zone sign.

School zones don’t apply when schools are closed e.g. weekends and school/public holidays.

Intersections and pedestrian lights

You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road when you are turning

Elderly people or disabled may need more time to cross than allowed by the lights. Always let them cross the road safely before driving on.

Pedestrian lights help pedestrians cross the road safely

Pedestrian lights exist to help pedestrians cross roads safely. They generally work the same way as lights at intersections.

Entering/leaving private properties

A driver must give way to all other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians when leaving a private property (e.g. a shop

If unable to see anyone coming due to obstructions in the way, drive very slowly and if necessary sound your horn to alert others of your position.

Paths crossing the road

There are situations where bicycle or pedestrian paths will cross the road. If you’re facing a ‘Give Way’ or STOP sign, you have to give way to all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on the path.

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