By Clair Morton
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
It’s not an uncommon sight – a pedestrian will be over halfway across a crossing when a stopped motorist decides it’s safe for them to drive through. But can this small act of impatience get you in more trouble than it’s worth?
In South Australia, as in all other states across the country, it is the driver’s responsibility to give way to pedestrians at all types of designated crossings.
But from there it gets a little clouded.
If you’re stopped at a school crossing, which will be marked by lines on the road as well as children crossing signs or flags, Australian Road Rules dictate the pedestrian has to be off the road completely before you can continue.
Failure to stop at a children’s crossing will result in a $419 fine, $60 Victims of Crime Levy and three demerit points. The penalty is the same if the driver proceeds before the pedestrian has finished crossing.
At other pedestrian crossings though, such as a striped crossing in a CBD area or at traffic lights, you just have to give way to the pedestrian – so as long as there’s no danger of hitting them when you continue, they don’t need to be off the road entirely.
The penalty for failing to give way to pedestrians on a crossing that is not at an intersection is $399, a $60 VOC Levy and three demerit points.
The same penalty applies for a driver who overtakes or passes a vehicle which has stopped, or is stopping to give way to a pedestrian on a crossing.
According to RAA crash data, there were 304 crashes in South Australia involving pedestrians at designated crossings and intersections with traffic signals between 2012 and 2016.
Eight of those were fatal.
So, always give way to pedestrians at crossings, and if you’re at a children’s crossing, don’t move until all pedestrians have cleared the roadway.