My rights as a pedestrian
When I’m out walking, I actively (but not foolishly, I hope) defend my rights as a pedestrian. If I have an opportunity to walk safely and legally before a car goes, I will take it.
The main rules are not difficult to comprehend, but some motorists just don’t seem to understand them.
[Page references are those in the Vicroads PDF summary of the road rules.]
Red means stop. It doesn’t mean drivers can zoom through at the last minute. Given that Yellow actually means “stop if it is safe to do so” [p27], there’s no reason why drivers should still be travelling through the intersection after I’ve got a (conflicting) green man. Not that there’s much I can do about this but glare.
Drivers are meant to stop behind the stop line, not halfway across it blocking the pedestrian crossing. If blocked by the cars ahead, that’s the driver’s fault for not looking ahead to make sure it was clear. [p27]
The zebra crossing means vehicles have to give way for me to cross. If a motorist was driving so fast they had to brake sharply, that’s their fault [p58]. (I view extended periods of delays to motorists at busy zebra crossings, such as in Flinders Lane, with some glee. If they were stupid enough to bring their car into the middle of a big busy city, they’re going to face some delays in their quest to get to the next red light.)
Flagged Children’s Crossings are more strict. Vehicles have to stop if someone is waiting to cross, and not drive through until the last person is completely off the crossing. [p57] (I also recommend not trying to run down crossing supervisors at lighted intersections, such as some right-turners at McKinnon and Jasper Roads seem to do.)
Vehicles are not allowed to park on a footpath.[p78] Foot. Path. It’s really not that hard.
If a driver is turning across my path, they have to give way to me [p29] — unless it’s a roundabout.
Many motorists, myself included, give way when coming out of side-streets to crossing pedestrians. Strictly speaking vehicles don’t have to do this, but personally I consider it polite.
(Update: Commenter Andrew notes elsewhere the rules say: “At Stop or Give Way signs [...] you must not only give way to vehicles, but also to any pedestrians at or near the sign [...]”. [p31] However it appears that this specifically applies at locations not at intersections. I’m not clear on why you’d have such a sign that’s not at an intersection.)
If a vehicle is going into or coming out of a driveway or carpark or whatever, they have to give way to me. [p60]
Drivers have to stop for tram passengers unless there’s a safety zone/platform stop. [p60] The tram is a big thing on wheels that’s 3-5 times as big as a car; there’s no excuse for not seeing it.
The above rules are, I think, pretty logical.
But there are some others I learnt about while reading up on it, which I suspect not so many people are aware of.
- Motorists have to give way to peds when turning in a slip lane (including separated from the other lanes by just a painted island) [p30]
- Motorists have to give way to all peds (and everyone else for that matter) when making a U-turn [p31]
- Giving way to peds when turning includes instances such as turning into a main road that the pedestrian is crossing. [figure 24, p35]
Footnote: Why have VicRoads published the road rules in a PDF that doesn’t allow you to copy text out of it?