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Pedestrian Safety

Road users need to be aware of pedestrians when they are driving but pedestrians also have road rules they need to follow.

Pedestrian deaths account for around 17% of the NSW road toll and around 10% of injuries. In the Cumberland Council area in 2016, 8 pedestrians were killed and 57 were injured. Pedestrians represented 6.5% of all casualties.

In the period 2014-2016, 13 pedestrians were killed but the trend is down. The largest number of pedestrian injuries was in the “over 60 age group” (24.6%) and in “0-16 years of age” group (16.3%).

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Before crossing a road or entering an area where there are moving vehicles follow these tips:

  • Look left and right before crossing the road to look for bicycles, motorcycles and incoming traffic.
  • Listen for cars reversing behind you and traffic approaching from corners.
  • Watch out for cars from all different directions.

What You Can Do as a Pedestrian

  • Use pedestrian crossings or cross at the traffic lights when the pedestrian crossing light is green. Be sure to obey the signals at crossings.
  • Avoid crossing against an amber or red traffic light or a Don't Walk sign as you may misjudge the time it takes to cross the road.
  • Check traffic has actually stopped before you step onto the road. A cyclist, motorcycle rider or driver may run the red light and not see you.
  • Do not assume a cyclist, motorcyclist or driver has seen you because you have seen them.
  • Walk in the direction of oncoming traffic.
  • Avoid crossing roads near hills, near a corner or between parked cars where it may be difficult for a cyclist, motorcyclist, car or bus to see you.
  • If you get off the bus, wait for the bus to leave before crossing the road so cars can see you and you can see them.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and a reflector (e.g. wristband or sash) at night.
  • If you cannot cross the roads in one attempt, wait on the median strip until the traffic is clear.
  • Avoid using your mobile phone or headphones when crossing the road.
  • Hold your young children’s hands and encourage them to look left and right when crossing the road.
  • Teach young children to always cross at a dedicated crossing.
  • Watch for cars who are reversing out of driveways and turning onto the road from car parks.

What You Can Do as a Driver

  • You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road if you are in danger of hitting them, even if there is no marked pedestrian crossing.
  • Slow down on roads where there are likely to be pedestrians such as school zones, shopping centres, restaurants, pubs and clubs.
  • Never assume someone walking across the road has seen you and will wait for you to go past.
  • Seniors or pedestrians with a disability may take a longer time to cross the road.
  • Children are difficult to see and may act unpredictably.

How We Can Help

Contact our Road Safety Officer via email rso@cumberland.nsw.gov.au to let us know about any problems with footpaths, walkways or pedestrian crossings or suggestions on how we can make our roads safe for people walking.