Giving Way where there are no signs or lights

On 21 December 2019 WalkSydney posted Why Australian Road Rules need to be rewritten to put walking first. Our proposal is that every intersection is implicitly a crosswalk, whether marked or not, so vehicles at uncontrolled intersections always must yield to pedestrians both crossing and about to cross. In many places outside Australia, this is already the law, and under certain circumstances this is the rule in Australia, but it is needlessly complex, and there is little awareness.

Sometimes pedestrians need eyes in the back of their heads – it seems that many drivers do not understand and/or observe the give way rules. (Vehicles turning into roads are supposed to yield to crossing pedestrians, but under current road rules, those leaving a road are not.)

Road rules are integral but not sufficient to improve pedestrian safety and that is why a new approach to sharing road space is needed, including for the crossing of roads.

Road fatalities and serious injuries for pedestrians are most commonly the result of a collision with a vehicle. Blaming the victim such as a pedestrian for an injury caused by a vehicle driver excuses the driver from being responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Road rules should codify that the responsibility for road use rises with capacity to cause harm. Driving at a slower speed makes drivers ready for the unexpected in places where there are all types of road user.

WalkSydney advocates for the many ways that walking can be made safer and locations more walkable. WalkSydney gives pedestrians a voice. Join us! Membership information can be found here.

Sometimes road design helps cars decide to whom they must give way. But is this actually a marked crosswalk?