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When turning, do you have to give way to a pedestrian?

By Leon Arundell - 25 March 2014 30

You’re driving south along Allara Street past the Civic Pool, and making a 45 degree left turn into Dive Lane which leads to the pool car park. If you proceed, there is a danger that you will collide with a person who is walking parallel to Allara Street, across the end of Dive lane.

According to the current ACT road rules, must you give way to the person who is crossing Dive Lane?

What’s Your opinion?

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30 Responses to
When turning, do you have to give way to a pedestrian?
rosscoact 8:38 am 26 Mar 14

gooterz said :

If a person jumps out onto the road in front of you do you have to give way?

In what context do you mean ‘have’? Morally, legally or when you’re updating facebook?

MrBigEars 8:03 am 26 Mar 14

gooterz said :

If a person jumps out onto the road in front of you do you have to give way?

You have an obligation to make a reasonable attempt to avoid a collision. So yes, with a but. If a pedestrian steps out of your vehicle and you bury the accelerator, or you swerve to hit them, that’s bad and you are a bad person. If they step out and you emergency brake or swerve to avoid them and still hit them, then that’s bad, but not your fault.

gooterz 9:40 pm 25 Mar 14

If a person jumps out onto the road in front of you do you have to give way?

bigred 7:02 pm 25 Mar 14

Nope, never enforced and little known. Just run them down.

Maya123 6:57 pm 25 Mar 14

I asked a similar question once and received this answer from Transport Regulation and Planning, ACT Dept of Territory & Municipal Services

Thank you for lodging your on-line enquiry with the ACT Government regarding the road rules requiring motorists to give way to pedestrians and cyclists when leaving private property such as car parks.

The ACT is consistent with other States and Territories in adopting the Australian Road Rules (ARR) legislation. The Road Rule that is relevant to your question is ARR 74 which states:

ARR 74 Giving way when entering a road from a road-related area or adjacent land

(1) A driver entering a road from a road-related area, or adjacent land, without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to:

(a) any vehicle travelling on the road or turning into the road (except a vehicle turning right into the road from a road-related area or adjacent land); and

(b) any pedestrian on the road; and

(c) any vehicle or pedestrian on any road-related area that the driver crosses to enter the road; and

(d) for a driver entering the road from a road-related area:

(i) any pedestrian on the road-related area; and

(ii) any other vehicle ahead of the driver’s vehicle or approaching from the left or right.

In the above rule, the word ‘vehicle’ includes bicycles, because ARR 15 states that the term ‘vehicle’ includes a bicycle.

Under the above national road rule, motorists exiting an off-road car park (which is a road-related area) that crosses a cycle path are required to give way to pedestrians and cyclists (which are ‘vehicles’) on the cycle path (which is a road-related area).

The ACT Road Safety Action Plan recognises the need to educate all road users to be aware of each other when using roads and road related areas. As part of the Plan, an awareness campaign on ‘sharing the road’ is under development and is planned to be implemented during 2009 – 2010. A key objective of this campaign is to encourage motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists to respect each other and practice safe road behaviour. Messages will also emphasise the road rules and the legal responsibilities of all road users.

Unfortunately some car drivers disobey the give way rule in the circumstances you described. Incidents where this occurs can be reported to Canberra Policing on telephone 131 444.

(So the answer is yes, you must give way.)

fromthecapital 5:56 pm 25 Mar 14

Regardless of whether it’s a pedestrian or a lost kitten, please give way. You shouldn’t need to consider the rules.

M0les 4:17 pm 25 Mar 14

Drivers at intersections who are turning left or right must give way to pedestrians who are crossing.
(See Notifiable instrument NI2013-329, Rule 73: “Giving way at a T-intersection”, especially the examples)

…That being said, most drivers are likely unaware of this rule (That is the impression I get from my experience), so make sure you’ve trained-up in you dive & roll before exercising your right of way.

gospeedygo 3:51 pm 25 Mar 14

Why would you even question giving way to pedestrians, official road rules or not. Car = heavy and fast. Person = Puny bag of meat.

sandog 3:11 pm 25 Mar 14
teddyhb 2:31 pm 25 Mar 14


“When turning into a road at an intersection, a driver must give way to any pedestrian who is crossing the road the driver is entering.”

bd84 12:29 pm 25 Mar 14

Yes, you are required by law to give way to pedestrians crossing or about to cross the road that you are about to turn into (not on a continuing road).

Is it a sensible law? Well on a few occasions yes, most of the time no. I would apply the “when it’s safe to do so” or “if the pedestrian is already in the road” rule to avoid either having an accident yourself through the inattention/law ignorance of others and to not kill any pedestrians.. If a pedestrian has stopped and looked waiting for you to pass, then in most cases I wouldn’t stop to let them cross.. Only causes confusion. I would normally if I’m crossing a foot path, but again depends whether there’s a lot of cars behind me that may run into me and then into the pedestrian.

MrBigEars 12:24 pm 25 Mar 14

I can’t find anything ACT specific, but I assume (with caveats) that it would be similar to NSW:

( page 6)

Having said that, as a frequent pedestrian at that intersection, I stop to let cars through. There’s enough physical obstruction (trees, cars, trucks) that there’s too much risk of not being seen.

patrick_keogh 12:00 pm 25 Mar 14

Well Leon, you’re the expert on all things pedestrian here in the ACT so what’s the answer?

I am currently guided by p.41 of the ACT Road Rules Handbook January 2014 which includes:
“The law says you must give way to:…
• pedestrians crossing the road the driver is entering if you face a GIVE WAY sign or STOP sign or where there are no signs;”

Of course the handbook is not the Act, so this may not be conclusive.

MonarchRepublic 11:53 am 25 Mar 14

The ACT road rules do not give you permission to run down pedestrians.

caf 11:31 am 25 Mar 14

Yes. You have to give way to anyone already in the road you are turning onto, regardless of whether they’re in a vehicle or not.

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