Everyone is a pedestrian at some stage in their journey. This means pedestrians are a highly diverse road user group which includes children, older people, teenagers, joggers, the disabled and mobility impaired, and people using wheeled toys or recreational devices such as skateboards, rollerblades and foot scooters.
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in the road environment because most other road users are moving significantly faster than pedestrians, and pedestrians have little or no bodily protection in the event of a collision.
Pedestrians are also often difficult to see and their behaviours may be unpredictable. This can make it challenging for other road users to successfully factor pedestrians into the decisions they are constantly making as drivers and riders.
Roads and Maritime Services places a very strong focus on pedestrian safety and implements a wide range of programs (and projects) that deliver pedestrian safety benefits.
- 40 km/h speed limit in high pedestrian activity areas
- 50 km/h urban speed limits
- Safety around schools – 40 km/h school zones and dragons teeth
- Safety cameras at intersections
- Public education campaigns
- Pedestrian fencing
- Shared zones
- Pedestrian bridges
- Shared paths.
In the five years from 2004 to 2008 around one in six people killed on the road was a pedestrian. This was more than 15 per cent of road fatalities in NSW. Of all crashes in which a pedestrian is killed, nearly a third occur between 10 pm and 6 am. Injuries, particularly in the metropolitan area, peak during the mid-morning (8am to 10 am) and mid afternoon (2pm to 6pm). Pedestrian fatal crashes are more likely to occur on Fridays and Saturdays, while injuries are more prevalent on weekdays. Male pedestrians are particularly at risk of being killed and injured in crashes.
Transport for NSW has released Shared Zone policy as part of its strong focus to improve pedestrian safety and promote safer speeds. Shared Zones are installed in areas of high pedestrian activity, where the speed limit of vehicles is lowered to 10 km/h so that street environment is safer and more conducive to pedestrians, cyclists, residential life, shopping and social activities. Drivers must give way to pedestrians at all times in a Shared Zone.
The policy will ensure consistency in design and implementation of Shared Zone schemes across NSW so that the risk of crashes between vehicles and pedestrians is reduced and the quality of the street environment is enhanced.
The Shared Zone policy and Fact Sheet can be downloaded from the link below:
Roads and Maritime Services have also released a technical direction on Footpath Parking.
40 km/h high pedestrian activity areas
40 km/h High Pedestrian Activity Areas (HPAA) are sections of road where there is a high degree of interaction between vehicles and pedestrians. They may be near shopping strips, railway stations, bus interchanges, beach-sides and services such as medical centres. The maximum speed limit is 40km/h at all times and associated traffic calming measures help to alert drivers to the lower speed limit and make them aware of the presence of pedestrians moving about or near the road.
40 km/h HPAA are part of NSW government initiative to create a safer environment for all road users, particularly for pedestrians. Local councils, in partnership with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) design and implement these schemes in accordance with the Transport for NSW (TfNSW) guidelines for 40km/h zones.
The attached fact sheet intends to create more awareness about these schemes and encourages community involvement and participation during their development and operation."