Be a safe pedestrian

The simple steps we can all take as pedestrians to reduce our risk while out walking are detailed below.

Pay attention to your surroundings

A lot of road safety is just plain common sense but sometimes we have other things on our minds and common sense takes a back seat! When out near roads you have to keep your wits about you and not become distracted.

Many people use mobile devices when they are walking and these can seriously distract your attention from the road. Even just looking at other people can distract your attention from the road.

Ball games, such as football and tennis, should be kept for sports fields. Never play them on the road, even if there is very little traffic.

Simple steps to take

Although you can’t be responsible for the way people drive, you can take a number of steps to make yourself safer as a pedestrian:

  • stop, look and listen
  • don’t try to cross the road between parked cars
  • if possible, cross at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights
  • never cross at a bend
  • if there is a footpath, use it
  • if there is no footpath, walk/run/jog on the right hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic and keep as close as possible to the side of the road
  • wear fluorescent clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night

Use the crossings

Safer places to cross include zebra crossings, traffic islands, footbridges, subways and traffic lights. When using any type of crossing you should always check that the traffic has stopped before you start to cross. Always cross between the studs or over the zebra markings. Do not cross at the side of the crossing or on the zigzag lines, as it can be dangerous. You must not loiter on zebra, pelican, toucan or puffin crossings.

Sobering facts

Drunken pedestrians are a danger to themselves and other road users. Alcohol slows reaction times, impacts upon your judgement and decision making, including increasing risk taking behaviour. If you have had one too many, don’t attempt to walk – use a taxi, public transport or get a lift from a designated driver.

Certain types of drugs can affect the central nervous system and/or can cause hallucinations. The ability of the brain to make decisions can become distorted.

You may not be able to judge the speed of vehicles or estimate their distance from you, all of which will increase your risk of injury on the road.

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