About other road users

Information for pedestrians

As a pedestrian, it's important that you follow the road rules and guidelines shown below. They will help ensure your safety when you're walking near roads or crossing the road.

General pedestrian guidelines

  • Footpaths provide a safe place for you to walk. Where a footpath is provided, use it.
  • Where there is no footpath:
    • walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic (except on curves, where it is best to walk on the outside edge of the curve)
    • if possible, walk off the road, or as close as possible to the edge of the road
    • at night, wear light-coloured or reflective clothing, or carry a torch to help you be seen.
  • When using a shared path you must be careful and considerate. A shared path may be a cycle path, a footpath, or some other kind of path used by pedestrians, cyclists, riders of mobility devices and riders of wheeled recreational vehicles at the same time. There will be a sign telling you it is a shared path.
  • Be careful when crossing driveways, particularly when your visibility is restricted by buildings or fences. Remember, if a driver is coming out of a driveway, their vision will be restricted and they may not see you.
  • Cross the road only when it is safe to do so. Always check all nearby roads for vehicles before you cross and quickly walk straight across the road.
  • Remember, it takes time for a vehicle to stop. Be sensible and wait for a gap in the traffic before crossing the road.
  • When crossing the road at an intersection, remember to check behind and in front for turning vehicles.
  • When crossing the road at night, cross near a street light if you can.
  • If you need to cross the road when you get off a bus, wait until the bus has moved away before checking for moving vehicles.
  • If you have to cross the road between parked vehicles, move out as far as the headlight of a parked car nearest the traffic, then check for moving vehicles and wait for a gap before crossing the road.
  • Young children should hold an older person's hand.

Pedestrian crossings

If you are within 20 metres of a pedestrian crossing, footbridge, underpass or traffic signals, you must use it to cross the road.

Don't dawdle on a pedestrian crossing.

Don't step out suddenly onto a pedestrian crossing if any vehicles are so close to the crossing that they cannot stop.

Courtesy crossings

Courtesy crossings are not official pedestrian crossings. They provide a place where drivers can stop safely to allow pedestrians to cross.

However, drivers are not obliged to stop at courtesy crossings, so use them with care.

Picture of a courtesy crossing

Courtesy crossing

Pedestrian traffic signals

At many intersections and busy roads, there are special traffic signals for pedestrians.

When a non-flashing red figure is displayed, you must not cross the road. Some pedestrian traffic signals show how much time you have to finish crossing.

Picture of a pedestrian traffic signal indicating that you should not cross the road

Don't cross

When a green figure is displayed, pedestrians may cross the road. A buzzer may also sound to let you know that you can cross.

Picture of a pedestrian traffic signal indicating that you may cross the road

Walk quickly across

When a flashing red figure is displayed, you must not start crossing the road, but you can finish crossing if you have already started.

Picture of a pedestrian traffic signal indicating that you should not start crossing the road, but you may finish crossing

Don't start crossing, but you may finish crossing


  • It can be hard for drivers to see you when you are running. Wear bright clothes and reflective belts or bands.
  • Obey the road rules for pedestrians.
  • Be very careful at intersections.

Tips for parents

  • Teach your children to be safe on the roads and footpaths. Show them where it is safe to walk and how to cross the road safely.
  • Show your children the safest way to school, the shops, the playground or other places they go regularly.
  • If your children are five years old or under, walk with them to school or preschool.

Remember to watch for children when reversing into or out of driveways and garages.

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Last updated: 17 October 2012