Turning Vehicles Must Give Way to Pedestrians

Image: intersection traffic signals.RCN-D13^23291662.PNG 


Many intersections operate as "Parallel Crossings" this is where pedestrians cross parallel with running traffic. At these locations (as at all intersections) motorists must share the road and give way to pedestrians when turning.

This type of pedestrian crossing is used to maximise the efficiency and safety of the intersection for all road users.

Time savings are achieved for both pedestrians and motorists as there are fewer movements that traffic signals need to cycle through and motorists can proceed as soon as pedestrians have cleared the intersection.

Pedestrians will be given a five second head start before turning vehicles are given a green signal. This delay allows turning motorists to clearly see if any pedestrians intend to cross.



Image: Illustration demonstrating a vehicle giving way at an intersection

What do the signals mean?

Image: Green man traffic signals.RCN-D13^23291573.JPG 

The 'green figure' display: Pedestrians are given a minimum 6 second green display which indicates the start of pedestrian “right of way”. Motorists may also receive a 5 second delay to allow pedestrians to cross.


Image: Red flash man traffic signals.RCN-D13^23291572.JPG 
The 'flashing red figure' display: continues for the time it takes a pedestrian, who has already started crossing, to complete the crossing.
It is important to note that pedestrian “right of way” continues whilst the flashing red figure is being displayed. The flashing red figure is still allocated as pedestrian crossing time to allow for the safe completion of crossing. Pedestrians who have not started crossing at the commencement of the 'flashing red figure' must not commence crossing.
Image: Red man traffic signals.RCN-D13^23291566.JPG 
The 'steady red figure' display: Pedestrians must not cross while the 'steady red figure' is displayed.


Why not have separate traffic signal movements for motorists and pedestrians?

Traffic signals operate most efficiently when traffic and pedestrian movements occur simultaneously.

Combining these movements means there is a reduction in the number of cycles that traffic signals need to undergo, allowing traffic to move through the intersection quicker.


As a motorist, if I have a green traffic signal, shouldn't I just be allowed to go?

A green traffic signal doesn't automatically mean go. The Road Traffic Code clearly states that motorists must give way to pedestrians crossing the leg of the intersection that the motorist is turning into.

A green display indicates that a motorist "may" have right of way after considering any other road rules that apply at a given time.

The pedestrian walk symbol is flashing red, doesn't this mean pedestrians can't cross?

The flashing red walk symbol is an indication that pedestrians still have "right of way" and they are legally permitted to finish their crossing.

The flashing display allows pedestrians who have already started crossing to safely complete their crossing.


What are the benefits for motorists? What's in it for me?

Previously, motorists needed to wait for a whole phase or the expiration of a long red arrow before being able to turn at a set of traffic signals. Motorists using their judgement to turn as soon as a crossing is free of pedestrians allow the reduction or removal of the red arrow, allowing traffic to move through an intersection without having to wait for numerous cycles to be completed.


What if a car does not give way to me (as a pedestrian) at an intersection?

The Road Traffic Code 2000 states in part 'Turning vehicles must give way to pedestrians'. If vehicles do not give way, they can be reported to the WA Police, who enforce the Road Traffic Code.


Modified: 02 Jan 2018