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Least known road rule

By markconley - 6 May 2011 40

The Australian Road Rule 73 regarding drivers turning into roads giving way to pedestrians crossing or about to cross that road.   I have checked with the ACT Govt representative and the rule is applicable in the ACT.  Not one person (driver) I have asked knows of this rule.

I regularly walk to work from Hughes to Woden and cross, amongst others Easty Street.   This street leads to the car parks just east of the Woden offices / shops.    I have had many ‘run-ins’ with drivers when I attempt to cross this street (on foot).

I have had enough.    Next week I’m going to ‘placard’ the corner from 7 till 8.30, hopefully some drivers will become wiser.

All the best, Mark Conley

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40 Responses to
Least known road rule
random 4:14 pm 06 May 11

LMR said :

Call me crazy but common sense and the ‘wise’ to look at this IMO is that the smaller, weaker should give way to the bigger, stronger. Pedestrian v car = pedsetrian fail. Car v bus/truck = car fail. Seems obvious, but the little man will always bleet about his rights.

I was aware of this rule.

I’m pretty sure it’s written the way it is because a pedestrian walking along a major road and crossing a sidestreet is not always able to see cars coming up behind them and preparing to turn — obviously, cars are moving much faster and can be concealed behind other traffic. Responsibility for avoiding an accident has to be given to the only party capable of doing so, which logically requires giving the pedestrian right of way.

A related problem is that so many drivers appear to be ignorant of the fact that indicators are required even if there are no other vehicles in sight. It’s pretty hard to know they want to turn when they don’t bloody indicate.

puggy 4:12 pm 06 May 11

LMR said :

Call me crazy but common sense and the ‘wise’ to look at this IMO is that the smaller, weaker should give way to the bigger, stronger.

Or the other way to look at it is that you’re driving a big hunk of metal capable of killing anything that moves, so open your eyes and be careful of everything around you. As a pedertrian, I’m not going to force the issue, but it’s getting to the point where I saw a driver lay on the horn when turning left at lights and pedertrians where crossing on the green man. Giving way to pedestrians at ANY intersection is the norm in California and probably a lot of other places, but not here in Canberra, where the car is king.

vandam 3:59 pm 06 May 11

But I found this in the Australian Road Rules. 😉

236 Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or
obstruction
(1) A pedestrian must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into
the path of a driver.

I would say without a doubt there would be more responsibility of the driver to give way, however, as a pedestrian I wouldn’t be crossing any road unless I know I can make it safely.

The problem is, Canberrans are so arrogant and in so much of rush to get places, they forget to think about anyone else but themselves.

M0les 3:42 pm 06 May 11

I’ve known that rule since I got my license in the late eighties. I also know that few drivers know/care of it and I factor that in when I cross a road.
When driving I will wait patiently for pedestrians to cross if they’re already doing so, but I’m not going to hang-about playing a game of “No, no, after YOU!” if a pedestrian doesn’t know the rule.

JessP 3:34 pm 06 May 11

Good luck. You probably will get run down after that.

Scratch2k 3:32 pm 06 May 11

We’ll be sure to have “He had right of way” engraved on your tombstone.

Chop71 3:18 pm 06 May 11

Next week I’m going to ‘placard’ the corner from 7 till 8.30, hopefully some drivers will become wiser.

Please send in a pic ………… before you die

LMR 3:16 pm 06 May 11

Call me crazy but common sense and the ‘wise’ to look at this IMO is that the smaller, weaker should give way to the bigger, stronger. Pedestrian v car = pedsetrian fail. Car v bus/truck = car fail. Seems obvious, but the little man will always bleet about his rights.

EvanJames 2:56 pm 06 May 11

Not only do local drivers not know it, they also believe that pedestrians should never be on the road unless on a crossing, and thus will speed up when they see a person crossing the road ahead of them.

Erg0 2:55 pm 06 May 11

I was aware of this road rule, but so few pedestrians will assert their right of way that it’s pointless to stop for everyone who’s waiting to cross. I’d probably end up having to wind down my window and explain the rule to most of them.

Personally, I prefer the old “look both ways” approach to crossing the road, but I’m also one of those people who won’t press the “walk” button at a pedestrian crossing if I can foresee a break in traffic that will allow me to cross unaided. A bit of common sense, rather than a blind adherence to the letter of the law, is called for.

Holden Caulfield 2:48 pm 06 May 11

Bussie said :

The rules about giving way to buses pulling out of stops and indicating appear to be pretty unknown in this town too.

This is true, and I do my best to do the right thing by bus drivers.

Equally, though, the rule about bus drivers checking mirrors before moving away from the kerb seems poorly followed as well. That is, a sign on the back of the bus and an indicator is all you need, apparently, to pull out. Doesn’t appear to matter in many cases if a car(s) is already alongside you.

Holden Caulfield 2:45 pm 06 May 11

I read about this rule via RA a while back and have altered my behaviour accordingly. However, I think this is one of those rules that only causes confusion. That is, it would be simpler if cars only had to give way to pedestrians at marked crossings, otherwise cars have right of way. Which I expect is what most people assume is the case.

The rule, as it stands, is pretty daft IMO.

However, there’s a couple of places on my daily commute in particular where this rule is good to know. More often than not pedestrians will give way as I turn into the car park I am entering. If I was to stop all the time, as the rule dictates I should, I would expect it would only be a matter of time before another car rear ended me.

It’s interesting it is defined here as “drivers turning into roads”. When I leave the car park, am I equally obliged to give way to pedestrians, when I am turning onto a road, not into?

It’s a bit like the cyclists on pedestrian crossings for me; sure the cyclist is supposed to dismount, but that’s pretty daft s well, so I just try and make eye contact with the other person so that it may become more clear as to my intentions and vice versa.

fullmoon 2:37 pm 06 May 11

I know this rule is (generally) adhered to in Victoria and makes for much more pedestrian friendly environments. But I must confess that I wasn’t aware that it was also a law here.

Bussie 2:37 pm 06 May 11

In Melbourne cars stop in those situations.

The rules about giving way to buses pulling out of stops and indicating appear to be pretty unknown in this town too.

dks00k 2:29 pm 06 May 11

Well I wasn’t aware of that. Now I am and I’ll keep in mind.
However, as a pedestrian, I dont think I’ll be forcing the issue and stepping out in front of too many cars.
Man vs Car usually ends up badly for man !!

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