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The Highway Code: Pedestrians

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

As an organisation, we have noticed that many people do not have sufficient knowledge about things like the Highway Code. Therefore, this post will be the first in a series of posts outlining the Highway Code and what it contains. Knowing about the highway code will help everyone who may travel on or around the roads.

We begin this series with pedestrians, where we will explore the guidance given by the Highway Code and how to conduct yourself in a way that will ensure your safety as a pedestrian.


Guidance for Pedestrians

  • Walk facing the traffic if possible. This allows pedestrians to have time to react if they are put in a dangerous situation. This is especially important when walking along a road that does not have a pavement. In this instance, pedestrians should keep to the right side of the road, only moving to the left of the road when there is a sharp right-hand turn ahead. Pedestrians should also walk in single file when walking on a road without a pavement, and keep as close to the edge of the road as possible to allow drivers to pass with enough space.

  • In poor light conditions (eg: fog, heavy rain/snow, and low light levels) wear bright, fluorescent, or clothing. Did you know that reflective clothes can be seen by drivers using headlights from 3x further away than without?

  • Keep children and animals away from the road. When outside, make sure the adult/caregiver is between the child/pet and the road. When walking with a child with a pram, do not push the pram into the road when looking to cross the road. Especially when crossing between 2 parked cars.

  • Pedestrians should not be on motorways or slip roads unless in an emergency.

Crossing the Road

  • The Green Crossing code is something that should be taught to children, and they should not be allowed to cross the road alone until they understand the code. Caregivers are responsible for deciding when a child is okay to cross the road alone safely.

  • Find a safe place to cross, and if there is a crossing nearby use that. Avoid crossing on bends, between parked cars or at the top of a hill. Also, avoid crossing the road diagonally. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to best cross a road in the safest way.

  • stop before you get to the edge of the kerb and check to see if anything is passing through.

  • Look and listen for oncoming traffic.

  • Do not cross unless it is safe to do so. When crossing, walk straight across the road whilst still checking for any oncoming traffic.

  • Once a pedestrian has begun to cross, that pedestrian has right of way and should be allowed to pass, however, it is the duty of the pedestrian to choose a suitable place and time to cross, using the guide provided in this post.

  • When crossing between parked cars, use the edge of the cars as the kerb and follow the same steps as above.

  • Never cross behind a reversing car.

In the next post about the Highway Code, we will go over the rules for pedestrians at different types of marked crossings and any extra information that pedestrians should take note of.


If you have any questions, contact us on our socials or leave a comment below!


Stay Safe,

VZYC Manchester.


(The information in this post was gathered from highwaycodeuk.co.uk)

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