Safety for Road Users

Pedestrians

Everyone is a pedestrian as soon as they step out of their car, so it’s important to always keep pedestrian safety front of mind. Most pedestrian fatalities and injuries happen in daylight, in dry conditions, in 50km and 60km zones, near shopping areas, mid-block or uncontrolled intersections, close to the person’s home and in association with regular activities. Sadly, the pedestrian is most often at fault, so here’s a few tips to help keep you safe when you’re a pedestrian.

Pedestrian safety tips

  • Don’t walk listening to music because it can be a lot harder to hear noises such as cars or other people around you
  • Use footpaths when available and keep to the left so cyclists can pass easily
  • Keep watch of the ground for obstructions and uneven surfaces, and be aware of all of your surroundings
  • Walk at quieter times of the day if possible, i.e. not during peak hour
  • Be aware of other pedestrians, and cars coming in and out of driveways
  • Although drivers do need to give way to you, be sure to make eye contact so you know they’ve seen you and will stop
  • When crossing at zebra crossings at shopping centres, make sure motorists stop before you begin to cross
  • In car parks – try to stick to walkways and watch for reversing lights of cars, indicating they may be about to move
  • Watch out for vehicles reversing out of driveways.

Crossing the road

  • When crossing the road, cross at traffic lights or at designated pedestrian crossings if possible, even if you have to walk a bit further
  • Press the walk button and be ready to step out as soon as the cars stop and the lights change, giving you a green light
  • Even if the road clears, wait for a walk sign as cars can come from other roads and around corners
  • Don’t start to cross if the red pedestrian light appears – wait for the next green pedestrian light 
  • If there is not a pedestrian crossing close by, choose the shortest, most visible and direct route and consider crossing where traffic islands are present so you can cross the road in two stages

Teaching children

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult until at least 10 years of age when walking
  • Teach children to stop, look and listen before crossing the road
  • When walking with them, point out traffic signs and show them how to use the different types of pedestrian crossings
  • Remember that school zones are not pedestrian crossings, and although cars are driving slowly, you still need to remain attentive
  • School crossings operate only when the lights are flashing or the flags are installed - at other times vehicles have priority.

Click here to download a fact sheet about pedestrian safety.