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Pedestrian crossings

You must give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings on NSW roads. Here are the rules you must follow, and different types of crossings to watch for.

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Slow down at pedestrian crossings

Pedestrian crossings are marked by signs and lines on the road. There are different types of pedestrian crossings, each with different rules for drivers.

When approaching a pedestrian crossing, you should drive at a speed that allows you to slow down and stop before the crossing.

If children or elderly people are crossing, you may need to give them extra time to cross.

Always slow down and prepare to give way to pedestrians.

Pedestrian crossing lines and signs

Pedestrian crossings are usually marked by white parallel stripes on the road. They can also have a yellow sign showing a pair of legs.

Pedestrian crossings are also called zebra crossings.

Some pedestrian crossings have signs warning you that you’re approaching a crossing.

Pedestrian crossing sign
Road sign showing pedestrian crossing
Pedestrian crossing ahead sign
Road sign showing pedestrian crossing ahead

Zig-zag lines are sometimes marked on the road leading up to pedestrian crossings. These lines increase visibility and warn you that you’re approaching a crossing.

Zig zag lines on road indicating pedestrian crossing ahead
Pedestrian crossing with zig-zag lines

At a pedestrian crossing:

  • you must give way to pedestrians crossing
  • you must not overtake a vehicle that’s stopping or has stopped to give way to pedestrians who are crossing
  • you must not drive onto the crossing if the road ahead is blocked.

If there’s a ‘Stop’ sign close to the crossing, you must stop at the sign, even if you just stopped at the crossing.

Pelican crossings

A pelican crossing is a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights. Pedestrians push the button when they want to cross.

Most pelican crossings have the same lights and pedestrian signals as normal traffic lights. You must stop at a red light and give way to pedestrians crossing the road.

Some pelican crossings have a different colour sequence for the traffic lights. After the red light, a yellow (amber) light flashes for vehicles and a red pedestrian signal flashes for pedestrians.

When the yellow light starts flashing, you can drive through the crossing if there are no pedestrians.

Children’s crossings

Children’s crossings are part-time crossings. They usually operate during school zone hours, and at other approved times and locations.

When a children’s crossing is operating, it’s marked by red‑orange flags at both sides. When you see the flags, you must slow down and stop before the white stripes or ‘Stop’ line to give way to pedestrians. You must remain at a complete stop until all pedestrians have left the crossing.

If the flags are not displayed, it’s not operating as a children’s crossing.

Some children’s crossings are combined with a pedestrian crossing. When the flags are displayed, children’s crossing rules apply. When the flags are removed, pedestrian crossing rules apply.

Children's crossing designated by orange flags
Orange flag at a children’s crossing

School crossing supervisors

Some children’s crossings are controlled by school crossing supervisors. When you see a supervisor holding a ‘Stop – children crossing’ sign, you must slow down and stop.

You must remain at a complete stop until:

  • all pedestrians have left the crossing, and
  • the school crossing supervisor is no longer showing the sign.

High pedestrian activity areas

Some areas have more pedestrians than others, such as shopping strips and near schools, parks or swimming pools.

These areas may have a lower speed limit and signs warning you to look out for pedestrians.

When you see these signs, you should prepare to slow down.

Children crossing sign
Children may be crossing ahead sign

Pedestrian refuges

A pedestrian refuge is an island in the middle of the road. The island allows pedestrians to cross the road in two stages.

Pedestrian refuges have signs to warn you to slow down and look out for pedestrians.

Pedestrian crossing sign
Pedestrian crossing sign

Giving way to pedestrians when turning


Road rules: pedestrians

Revise rules on giving way to pedestrians when turning in this short Transport video animation.

Read transcript

If you are turning left or right at an intersection, you must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road that you are about to enter. This rule applies to intersections both with and without traffic lights, however, it doesn't apply at roundabouts.

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