Safety is paramount when using Australia’s roads. A pedestrian crossing the road can get where they’re going, quickly and safely, if they’re aware and take notice of their surroundings.
Road rules vary from country to country, but they’re all about the safe passage of drivers and pedestrians from one point to another.
In Australia, road rules apply to anyone who’s not driving a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) or a bicycle, and who, essentially is on foot. However, this also includes those who are on scooters (motorised and not) or are pushing a bike.
Here, as a pedestrian, you don’t have right of way on the road, unless you’re crossing at the traffic lights (in accordance with the lights) or at a pedestrian crossing. Therefore, it’s essential that you follow the road rules, as they apply to both drivers and pedestrians. They’re there to keep you safe.
Use the Lights
If you need to cross, and there are traffic lights, use them! Press the button when you arrive at the lights, and in a couple of minutes, the cars will be stopped and you’ll have right of way to cross.
At some intersections, there’s a noise which confirms that you can cross, but at others, it’s just a matter of looking for the green man. On the pole on the other side of the road, will be a digital green or red man.
- When it’s green, it’s your turn to cross.
- When it begins to flash, you’ve got only a few seconds to get to the other side.
- When it’s red, you can’t cross.
- When it’s amber (yellow), you can’t cross.
If there’s no traffic light, look for a zebra crossing and use that. They’re commonly around schools, and there can be yellow flashing lights. These are to remind drivers that they must give way to you, as you have right of way at that crossing.
However, in ALL cases when you’re crossing the road, you should check first to see that the cars have stopped before you step on to the road.
When crossing, you should walk quickly and without stopping or delaying.
Failure to obey the road rules is dangerous, and can lead to serious harm to you, or to drivers who try to avoid hitting you.
In addition to being dangerous, it’s actually illegal and can result in you receiving a fine for jaywalking, which you’ll have to pay.
You can find further information about pedestrian road safety in Victoria.
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