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6 August, 2020

5 times you didn’t know that pedestrians have right of way

With so many rules to learn, it’s sometimes no wonder that motorists get it wrong. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group of road users so extra caution should be taken when dealing with them. Also, we’re British so some common courtesy goes a long way! 

Turning into a junction 

Ever seen a driver turning into a junction and beep at a pedestrian crossing the road? The Highway Code states that If someone has started crossing the road and you want to turn into the road, then the pedestrian has priority, so you should slow down and give way until they’ve crossed. 

Once someone has moved onto a zebra crossing 

Rule 195 in the Highway Code states that you must give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a zebra crossing. You are only legally required to stop at a zebra crossing once a pedestrian has moved on to the crossing.

However you should be prepared to stop when approaching a zebra crossing. When you see a zebra crossing with someone waiting on it, you should be slowing down and stopping. 

Even though this is not a legally required practice of the Highway Code, it is best practice for the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike. 

Pulling out of a driveway 

Rule 206 in the Highway Code states that you must give way to pedestrians on the pavement as they have right of way – and so this applies to pulling out of or reversing out of a driveway. 

Where possible, you should reverse onto your driveway so that you can pull out more safely. This is mentioned in Rule 201 of the Highway Code – when using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if possible. 

This is to ensure better visibility of the pavement and any obstructions. It’s especially important to reverse into your driveway if it’s on a major carriageway, as this can be very dangerous as it’s likely to be busy.  

When the pavement is closed 

Unlike the States, ‘jaywalking’ is perfectly legal in the UK. Though if the pavement is closed and pedestrians need to walk on the road then they should keep to the right hand side so that oncoming traffic can more clearly see them. (Highway Code: 2) 

Guidance for pedestrians on sharp right hand bends is to take extra caution and cross to the other side of the road.

As a driver turning into a sharp left hand bend (especially on country lanes) you should be extra cautious that pedestrians may not be following this guidance and be walking into oncoming traffic. 

Right of way or not, this isn’t one that should need too much explaining!  

When a traffic light is amber at a pedestrian crossing

When a traffic light is amber and there are pedestrian signals, you are allowed to either keep driving, or pull away if you’re stationery. 

Pedestrians must only cross when the traffic light is green (when pedestrian signals are provided), however you must stop if the traffic light is amber and a pedestrian is still on the crossing.