Drivers have the legal and moral responsibility to take proper care to avoid accidents with pedestrians at all times and places -- even if the pedestrian is jaywalking. Always try to give way to a pedestrian on the roadway.

Drive carefully and slowly when pedestrians are about particularly in crowded streets, or when you see a bus stop, or near a stall. Look out for pedestrians entering the road suddenly, for example from behind parked or stopped vehicles.

When entering or emerging from a place facing the road, wherever possible use proper driveways and try to avoid reversing. Give way to pedestrians.

Crossing the road

Crossing places are usually found only on busy roads where there are many vehicles and pedestrians. At other places pedestrians may cross the road other than by using a pedestrian crossing.

Junctions are a common place for pedestrians to cross the road, particularly across a side road where it joins a main road.

Give way to pedestrians crossing the road into which you are turning.

When approaching a major road give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross.

Look out for pedestrians crossing the road using gaps between parked vehicles.


Tram Stops

Tram Stops

When approaching a tram island look out for pedestrians crossing to and from the island. Do not drive on the tram lanes. If you do so then look out for pedestrians who may step off the island; some may be looking for oncoming traffic and not for traffic from your direction. If a tram has stopped look out for pedestrians who may appear from behind the tram.

If there is no tram island you must stop at the yellow 'Stop' line and give way to pedestrians crossing to and from the tram. Wait until there are no more passengers getting on or off the tram and look out for passengers hurrying to catch the tram.


On the roadway

Warning sign -- pedestrians on or crossing road ahead

Warning sign -- pedestrians on or crossing road ahead

On roads where there are no pavements or footpaths, pedestrians perhaps with children, may be coming towards you on your side of the road. Be on the look-out and keep your speed down and be prepared to stop. Give pedestrians walking on the roadway plenty of room.

Look out for pedestrians forced on to the roadway when a pavement or footpath is closed or blocked by works.


Pedestrian priority zone

You must give way to pedestrians on the roadway in a 'Pedestrian priority' zone. Traffic signs mark the beginning and end of the zone.

Drive carefully when there are pedestrians, pedestrians with handcarts or trolleys, processions or other marching groups on the road, particularly where there is no footpath. Give them plenty of room. Be especially careful on a left-hand bend and keep your speed down. If there is insufficient room to pass, slow down or stop until it is safe to do so.


Disabled pedestrians

Disabled pedestrians

Give disabled pedestrians plenty of time to cross the road. A person who does not appear to have heard or seen your vehicle or your warning may be deaf or blind.


Elderly pedestrians

As people grow older, their reaction times become longer and the likelihood of inattention increases together with a general physical or mental deterioration. The elderly may not judge speeds very well or notice approaching traffic and may step on to the road unexpectedly. Give them plenty of time to cross the road.


Child pedetrians

Warning sign -- children going to and from school ahead

Warning sign -- children going to and from school ahead

Children cannot judge speeds very well and younger children also have difficulty in concentrating on and understanding the dangers of the road. Small children are also more easily hidden by parked vehicles, roadside objects and other pedestrians. Children may step or run on to the road when you do not expect them.

Drive slowly near schools and look out for children getting on or off buses.

Drive slowly near children’s playgrounds.

Do not park or wait at or near a school or playground entrance, particularly when children are leaving or arriving.

Parked vehicles and vehicles reversing or moving off create risks for children. If meeting or taking a child to school, park in a safe place a little way from the school and then walk to the school entrance. Do not stop or wait on the opposite side of the road to the school entrance since the child may become excited to see you and run on to the road without following the Road Crossing Code.


School crossing patrols

School Crossing Patrol sign -- you must stop at the sign

School Crossing Patrol sign -- you must stop at the sign

School Crossing Patrol sign --
you must stop at the sign
( See page 14 )

You must stop when signalled to do so by a School Crossing Patrol showing a hand-held 'Stop' sign. Give way to pedestrians who are still crossing even if the patrol allows vehicles to move. Pedestrians other than school children may use a School Crossing Patrol.

Advance warning of some school crossing patrols may be given by the ‘children ahead’ warning sign. A flashing amber light below the sign warns you that the patrol is operating.

Safety of pedestrians

Pedestrians are not just 'traffic' -- they are people. They are unpredictable, and the younger they are the faster they are likely to move or change direction. Those with children, the elderly, the blind and the disabled all need your care.

Pedestrians can be found on or near all roads. They may be on the side of the road, crossing the road or carrying out an activity on the road.

The rules and advice in this chapter often refer to or take into consideration the safety of pedestrians. Looking out for and making allowances for pedestrians is a continuous task for a driver; particularly when driving along urban roads, near junctions, pedestrian crossings, bus stops or road works, in poor weather or at night.

The safety of pedestrians is also important when you stop or park your vehicle.