I was pleased to see a couple of articles on page 5 of the May 2014 City of Glen Eira council newsletter, about the rights of pedestrians on footpaths.
Clearing the way for walking
During community consultation for Glen Eira City Council’s Walking Strategy, various concerns were raised regarding obstructions for walking. These obstructions range from overhanging branches from private properties, illegally parked vehicles and construction sites.
A key role of Council’s Parking and Prosecutions Department is to have a presence at schools within Glen Eira to ensure safety of children. This includes ensuring vehicles do not park over school crossings or footpaths.
It notes you can ring the council to get cases investigated.
The other concerns motorists using private driveways needing to give way to pedestrians:
Pedestrians and private driveways
Each year, a significant number of pedestrians including the elderly and children, are run down and seriously injured by vehicles exiting private driveways
Under the Victorian road rules, a driver exiting a private driveway must give way to pedestrians and all other traffic — even if such traffic is hidden by high front fences, hedges or buildings.
Glen Eira City Council Manager Transport Planning Terry Alexandrou said that blowing the horn before exiting the driveway is not giving way.
The correct way to exit a private driveway is:
1. drive slowly to the exit and stop with the nose or tail of the car just short of the footpath; and
2. at less than walking speed, inch out slowly across the footpath.
It’s worth noting that the Road Safety Rules 2009 makes it clear that motorists have to give way to pedestrians when entering or exiting any off-road area, and this “can include a driveway, service station or shopping centre” — it’s not just private residential driveways.
As I’ve noted before, this is contrary to common signage which urges pedestrians to “Beware of cars” — which they should of course, but in the absence of any warnings for motorists, could easily be misconstrued as implying vehicles don’t have to give way.
- Councils give warnings about overhanging trees blocking footpaths – why not parked cars?
- 1 in 6 have challenges just getting down the street. Don’t block the footpath.