Law on Giving Way at a Pedestrian Crossing in NSW

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.


A crash in Sydney’s south western suburb of Doonside has resulted in a man dying after he was struck by a vehicle last week.

It is reported that at about 5.45pm on 16 June 2020, a 72-year-old male pedestrian was crossing Bungaribee Road in Doonside, when he was struck by a White Toyota Prado.

The incident was quickly reported to police, with officers from Blacktown Police Area Command swiftly attending the scene.

NSW Ambulance paramedics were also called, who treated the pedestrian for his severe head injuries.

The man was rushed to Westmead Hospital for further treatment.

Tragically, just days later on 18 June, he passed away.

The driver of the Toyota is a 36- year-old man.

He was transported to hospital for compulsory blood and urine testing.

While the circumstances of the crash are still unclear, investigations into the incident continue.

A report is now being prepared for the information of the Coroner.


Similar Incident Sees Pedestrian Die After Being Hit by Truck in Warwick Farm

In a similar incident, on 18 June, another male pedestrian died after he was struck by a truck at Warwick Farm in Sydney’s south western region.

NSW Police informs that at around 7:30pm, emergency services were called to a scene at Orange Grove Road where a 62-year-old man was knocked over as he crossed the road.

The driver of the vehicle and onlookers rendered assistance.

However, the man perished at the scene.

The driver attended Liverpool Hospital where he undertook mandatory testing.

Inquiries are now continuing by officers from Liverpool City Police Area Command, while a report is being primed for the information of the coroner.


More Than 1500 Pedestrians Struck Each Year Across NSW

According to the NSW Centre for Road Safety, more than 1500 pedestrians are struck on NSW roads each year.

Of these, pedestrian crashes resulting in fatal and serious injuries tend to be more common in areas with higher pedestrian volumes, including higher risk metropolitan roads, while research shows that a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h is twice as likely to die as one hit by a vehicle travelling at 40km/h.

Meanwhile, statistics show that in the five years from 2007 to 2011, about one in seven people killed on the road was a pedestrian.

Of those crashes in which a pedestrian is killed, more than a quarter tend to occur between 5pm and 9pm, while pedestrian injuries, particularly in the Sydney metropolitan area, peak during the mid-morning, from 8am to 10am, and the mid to late afternoon, from 2pm to 7pm.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety also informs that pedestrian fatalities are more likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays, with injuries being more prevalent on weekdays.

Moreover, male pedestrians and children are those most at risk of being involved in fatal crashes or those involving serious injuries.

Many drivers forget that roads are not simply for motorists and cyclists – they also exist for pedestrians too.

As such, driver must share the road fairly with all pedestrians.

Aside from adhering to the special markings on roads to show where pedestrians have a right to cross the road, motorists must also give way to pedestrians crossing the road into which they are turning.

Similarly, even if there is no marked pedestrian crossing, you must also give way to pedestrians if there is any danger of colliding with them.

NSW Law on Giving Way at a Pedestrian Crossing

In NSW, a driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing, which is set out in rule 81(2) of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW).

Give way here means that a driver must slow down, and if necessary, stop to avoid collision.

Regulation 81 makes clear that a driver approaching a pedestrian crossing must drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing.

In NSW, any breach of either of these rules results in a $457 on the stop fine and three demerit points, while the maximum penalty you can face if it’s heard in court by a court election is a fine of up to $2,200.

A pedestrian crossing is defined as an area of road at a place with white stripes on the road surface that:

  • run lengthwise along the road, and
  • are of approximately the same length, and
  • are approximately parallel to each other, and
  • are in a row that extends completely, or partly, across the road, and

A pedestrian crossing is also understood as an area of road with or without either:

  • a pedestrian crossing sign, and
  • alternating flashing twin yellow lights.

There are also heavy penalties for failing to exercise the care and attention of what a reasonable prudent driver in the same circumstances would have exercised at the time. This is known under the law in NSW as negligent driving. The penalties for negligent driving occasioning death are outlined here.

For more information on traffic law, contact our experienced traffic lawyers in Sydney today.

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