Drivers and sharing the road

Tips about how drivers and other road users can share the road safely.

How drivers should share the road with pedestrians

There are road rules for drivers and riders to follow when interacting with pedestrians, for example:

  • A driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing, and must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing. When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drive at a speed that would enable you to stop safely. 
  • When turning at any intersection (except a roundabout), you must give way to any pedestrians crossing the road you are entering. At roundabouts be aware of pedestrians needing to cross, slow down and give them the space and time they need.
  • When entering or leaving a driveway or private property, you must give way to pedestrians and bicycles on any footpath, path or nature strip you cross.
  • In a shared zone shared by both vehicles and pedestrians, you must give way to pedestrians 
  • You must give way to any pedestrian at or near the stop sign or line.  This includes pedestrians as well as bicycles crossing in front of you on a shared or bicycle path. 

How drivers should share the road with bike riders

  • Be patient and give bike riders a clearance of at least one meter when passing them, more if travelling over 60km/h. If this clearance isn’t possible don’t overtake until it is safe to do so. After overtaking, make sure you are well clear of the bicycle before moving back.
  • Watch out for bike riders at intersections and roundabouts.
  • Drive slowly and watch out for bike riders in residential streets.
  • Check behind before opening your car door, use your mirrors as well as checking over your shoulder.
  • Do not drive in bicycle lanes.
  • Give way to bike riders in bicycle lanes if you are turning across the lane.
  • Indicate when pulling out, changing lanes or turning, so bike riders know your intentions.
  • View our video Checking for cyclists and motorcyclists for more information about how to be aware of cyclists when opening your car door.

Sharing the road with pedestrians who are visually impaired

Blindness and low vision and the way it impacts on a person is not always well understood within the community. It is important that all road users know how to identify people who are blind or have low vision, to improve how they interact with them on our streets.People who are blind or have low vision have less information to rely on when making critical decisions about where and when to cross the road. Other senses, such as hearing can assist, but do not compensate for the loss of vision.

People who are vision impaired may use a white cane to help them get around. There are three main types of canes:
  • identification cane
  • long cane
  • support cane

People who are vision impaired people may use a dog:
  • Guide dog
  • Seeing Eye Dog

When driving, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, it is important to be patient with pedestrians and to recognise that people who use canes or dogs may take longer to cross the road. Also be aware that a person who is vision impaired may not make eye contact, or respond to visual gestures.

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