Crossing the road safely

Pedestrians have to share the road with vehicles so it is important they take care when crossing the road.

As a pedestrian, plan where you will walk and always choose the safest place to cross a road.

Safe places to cross

  • Whenever possible, cross at a pedestrian crossing, traffic signal or pedestrian refuge.
  • Make sure you have a clear view of approaching traffic, and where drivers can see you.
  • If you cannot cross the whole road in one attempt, wait on the pedestrian refuge or median strip.

Even at crossings you still need to remain alert and check whether vehicles are stopping for you. Always make sure traffic has actually stopped before stepping onto the road.

Remember school crossings are legally active only when the flags are displayed. If a crossing attendant is on duty, cross only when he or she indicates that it is safe.

Using a signalised pedestrian crossing

  • A green man means you can cross, if it is safe to do so
  • A flashing red man means you can continue to cross but should not start crossing
  • A steady red man means do not start to cross – wait until the green man before beginning to cross

Crossing the road at other places

  • Walk straight across the road – don’t jay-walk.
  • Keep checking in both directions to make sure the way is clear.
  • Do not cross the road from between parked cars as drivers may not see you.
  • Try not to cross near trees or bushes because drivers may not see you.
  • Avoid crossing near a bend or crest in the road. Give yourself a good chance to see vehicles coming from both directions.
  • Avoid crossing on roundabouts, particularly multi lane roundabouts as they are very busy and complex and cars are not required to give way to you, unless there is a pedestrian crossing. Find somewhere further away from the roundabout to safely cross the road.

Crossing at railway level crossings

At railway level crossings, don’t cross the level crossing if there are warning lights, boom gates are closed (or closing or opening). Wait for the bells and lights to stop and the boom barriers to be raised before crossing. Many crashes occur because pedestrians cross immediately after a train, not realising a second train is coming.

Crossing at tram stops
At tram stops, don’t cross the road to get on a tram until the tram has stopped at the tram stop.  Make sure traffic has seen you and is stopping before you step out onto the road to get on or off the tram.  When you get off the tram you must cross to the nearest footpath by the shortest safe route. Walking around the front or rear of a tram to cross a road is extremely risky as drivers cannot see you.

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