By James Gratton
Published: Monday, September 7, 2020
Giving way to pedestrians is a lesson that’s drummed into us from the first time we get behind the wheel.
But knowing who has to give way, and when, can be a little more confusing in practice.
So, to help alleviate any misunderstanding, here are 3 situations that often cause trouble.
1. When a pedestrian is crossing the road you’re turning onto
Anytime you’re turning onto a road – whether it’s a main road or a side street – you need to give way to any pedestrian that’s crossing the road you’re turning onto.
This includes a pedestrian standing on the corner waiting to cross.
Despite this scenario coming up regularly on our roads, many drivers wouldn’t bat an eye lid when quickly turning before the pedestrian has a chance to walk across the road.
And this mistake can prove costly for South Aussies, with failing to give way at an intersection attracting a $458 fine and 3 demerit points.
2. When navigating slip lanes
It’s not uncommon to see a car fly through a slip lane without any thought for the pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
Not only is it against the law, but this common mistake can have deadly implications, especially if the pedestrian begins to walk across the road.
Between 2014 and 2018, almost 1 in every 7 road deaths in South Australia was a pedestrian.
As well as fatalities, there are 55 pedestrians seriously injured on average every year in our state.
So, remember, if a pedestrian is waiting on the edge of the road to cross a slip lane, you must stop and give way before turning onto the road.
Failing to give way to pedestrian at slip lanes can see you fined $458 plus a $60 VOC Levy and 3 demerit points.
3. When you’re entering or exiting a driveway or car park
This one often causes confusion for drivers and pedestrians, but yes, if a vehicle is pulling out of a driveway or a car park and there’s a pedestrian on the footpath about to cross the driveway, then the driver needs to give way.
They’ll also need to give way if the pedestrian is crossing the road itself.
If caught by police failing to give way in this situation, you can be hit with a $458 fine plus a $60 VOC Levy and 3 demerit points.