Pedestrians

  1. General advice
  2. Road use and Navigation
  3. Parking and Waiting
  4. Vulnerable Road Users
  5. Drivers and Motorcyclists
  6. Rules for Motorcyclists
  7. Pedestrians
  8. Defensive driving tips
  9. Road Test Tips
  10. Road Signs
  11. Highway Code Test

General advice

Pedestrians should walk on pavements or any path along the side of a road if provided. Where possible, avoid being next to the kerb with your back to the traffic, always walk facing traffic coming towards you.
If you have to step into the road, look left, right then left again before attempting to cross. Do not attempt to run across the road as you may trip and fall or try to beat vehicular traffic coming towards you.

If no pavement is available, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and:

  • be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light.
  • keep close to the side of the road.

n poorly lit conditions, wear or carry something light-coloured, bright or reflective. When it is dark, use reflective materials which can be seen by drivers using headlights up to three times as far away as non-reflective materials.

Younger children should not be out alone on the pavement or road. When taking children out, keep between them and the traffic and hold their hands firmly.

Crossing the road

How to cross the road

First find a safe place to cross; a place where there is space to reach the pavement on the other side.
Where there is a zebra-crossing nearby, use it. It is safer to cross using a zebra crossing, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer or a school crossing patrol. Otherwise choose a place where you can see clearly in all directions.
Try to avoid crossing between parked cars, on a blind bend, or close to the brow of a hill. Move to a space where drivers and riders can see you clearly.

Do not cross the road diagonally or J-Walk.

  • Stop just before you get to the kerb at a point where you can see oncoming traffic. Do not get too close to the road. If there is no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
  • Look left, then right then left again and listen.
  • Traffic could come from any direction.
  • If there is traffic coming, let it pass. Do not attempt to race to the other side of the road. Look around again and listen as well.
  • Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time to make it across. Remember that even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.
  • When it is safe to do so, go straight across the road and do not run. Keep looking and listening for traffic as you cross, just in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly.
  • Keep a lookout for cyclists and motorcyclists travelling between lanes of traffic.

At a junction

When crossing the road, look out for traffic turning into the road, especially from behind you. If you have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, you have priority and they should give way.

If you have to cross between parked vehicles, use the outside edges of the vehicles as if they were the kerb. Stop there and make sure you can see all around and that the traffic can see you. Make sure there is a gap between any parked vehicles on the other side, so you can reach the pavement.
Never cross the road in front of, or behind, any vehicle with its engine running, especially a large vehicle, as the driver may not be able to see you.

Crossings

At all crossings be sure to always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross.

Zebra crossings

Give all traffic plenty of time to see you and to stop before you start to cross.
Vehicles will need more time when the road is slippery.
Wait until traffic has stopped from both directions or the road is clear before crossing.
Keep looking both ways, and listening, in case a driver or rider has not seen you and attempts to overtake a vehicle that has stopped.

On roads with islands, wait on the island and look for any approaching traffic before you cross the second half of the road.

At traffic lights

There may be special signals for pedestrians.
You should only start to cross the road when the green figure shows. If you have started to cross the road and the green figure goes out, you should still have time to reach the other side, but do so swiftly.
If no pedestrian signals have are provided, watch carefully and do not cross until the traffic lights are red and the traffic has stopped.
Keep looking and check for traffic that may be turning the corner. Remember that traffic lights may let traffic move in some lanes while traffic in other lanes is stopped.