Burning Questions: Should motorists slow and give way to pedestrians who want to cross the road?

News Shopper: Do you think motorists should slow down and allow pedestrians to cross? Do you think motorists should slow down and allow pedestrians to cross?

DO you think motorists should slow down and give way to pedestrians who want to cross the road?

Browsing road rules in the Highway Code suggests the answer is no.

For stretches of road, pedestrians are told to use a designated crossing where one is available or otherwise follow the Green Cross Code, making sure there is a safe gap in the traffic before stepping out.

At junctions, pedestrians appear to only have priority if they have already started to cross when a vehicle approaches and wants to turn.

So motorists have the advantage, and therefore when a driver spots a person on foot who clearly wants to get across a road he or she isn’t obligated to let them. But should they just do it anyway out of common courtesy? Should motorists just be nice by very briefly slowing and allowing pedestrians across?

Is it fair drivers are held up by pedestrians, albeit only momentarily, or should people on foot just be patient and wait for traffic to clear? Whether you’re predominantly a pedestrian or motorist, add your views below to say how you think this everyday occurrence should be handled.

News Shopper: Burning Questions

The Burning Questions feature aims to resolve some of the oddities of social etiquette, settle some of life’s perennial arguments and crack some of those tricky questions with readers’ collective knowledge.

If there is an issue you’re always squabbling about with workmates or friends or something that makes you go hmmm, email me with your suggestions for future burning questions to ask.

Comments (31)

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7:51am Thu 12 Dec 13

molsey says...

The government should provide all pedestrians with Jet-Packs.
The government should provide all pedestrians with Jet-Packs. molsey

8:03am Thu 12 Dec 13

Frank Brock says...

It's difficult enough concentrating on annoying cyclists without having to worry about pedestrians as well.
It's difficult enough concentrating on annoying cyclists without having to worry about pedestrians as well. Frank Brock

9:04am Thu 12 Dec 13

molsey says...

Frank Brock wrote:
It's difficult enough concentrating on annoying cyclists without having to worry about pedestrians as well.
Just run the cyclists over then, one less thing for you to worry about.
[quote][p][bold]Frank Brock[/bold] wrote: It's difficult enough concentrating on annoying cyclists without having to worry about pedestrians as well.[/p][/quote]Just run the cyclists over then, one less thing for you to worry about. molsey

9:19am Thu 12 Dec 13

kentlad says...

Difficult question to answer really because although you might slow down to let someone cross on your side of the road doesn’t mean the car travelling in the opposite direction will do the same and if there are no islands in the centre of the road then this leaves them more at risk of being striked by another vehicle. I personally would say no just because i think it could cause more accidents.
Difficult question to answer really because although you might slow down to let someone cross on your side of the road doesn’t mean the car travelling in the opposite direction will do the same and if there are no islands in the centre of the road then this leaves them more at risk of being striked by another vehicle. I personally would say no just because i think it could cause more accidents. kentlad

9:27am Thu 12 Dec 13

highway warrior says...

The amount of kids and adults with kids who attempt to cross roads either metres or a few feet away from designated crossing points is ridiculous. They then wonder why you wont let them cross or why it takes them forever to cross. Don't get me started on the use of mobiles and earphones, time and again people have stepped out without looking due to being otherwise distracted, should be fined for walking without due care and attention.
The amount of kids and adults with kids who attempt to cross roads either metres or a few feet away from designated crossing points is ridiculous. They then wonder why you wont let them cross or why it takes them forever to cross. Don't get me started on the use of mobiles and earphones, time and again people have stepped out without looking due to being otherwise distracted, should be fined for walking without due care and attention. highway warrior

9:31am Thu 12 Dec 13

molsey says...

On reflection, declaring Open-Season on every 2-legged person observed from a moving vehicle should keep the numbers down.
On reflection, declaring Open-Season on every 2-legged person observed from a moving vehicle should keep the numbers down. molsey

9:39am Thu 12 Dec 13

dag says...

Most junctions have double broken white lines across them. Doesn't this mean that the motorist should stop anyway before turning into another road? It would be nice to think at this point they would allow pedestrians to cross especially when it's pouring with rain and they are in a nice, dry car. |However,
I do agree that some people are rather stupid when crossing roads and will not walk a couple of steps to a crossing.
Most junctions have double broken white lines across them. Doesn't this mean that the motorist should stop anyway before turning into another road? It would be nice to think at this point they would allow pedestrians to cross especially when it's pouring with rain and they are in a nice, dry car. |However, I do agree that some people are rather stupid when crossing roads and will not walk a couple of steps to a crossing. dag

10:18am Thu 12 Dec 13

right-writes says...

Should motorists slow and give way to pedestrians who want to cross the road?

No.

Under some circumstances though, there is good reason to... For instance in a queue, it makes a lot of sense to stop for pedestrians or oncoming vehicles that want to turn right in front of you.

There are many odd instances of this sort, where left to their own resources, drivers (on the whole) behave far more sensibly than politicians give them credit for.
Should motorists slow and give way to pedestrians who want to cross the road? No. Under some circumstances though, there is good reason to... For instance in a queue, it makes a lot of sense to stop for pedestrians or oncoming vehicles that want to turn right in front of you. There are many odd instances of this sort, where left to their own resources, drivers (on the whole) behave far more sensibly than politicians give them credit for. right-writes

10:31am Thu 12 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.
I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too. Gypo.Joe

10:50am Thu 12 Dec 13

handymanchris says...

Pedestrians need to be educated...

See that crossing 20 yards up the road.

Use it!
Pedestrians need to be educated... See that crossing 20 yards up the road. Use it! handymanchris

11:35am Thu 12 Dec 13

highway warrior says...

Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception!
Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception! highway warrior

11:36am Thu 12 Dec 13

concerned.erith says...

handymanchris wrote:
Pedestrians need to be educated...

See that crossing 20 yards up the road.

Use it!
Totally agree with you - I am a pedestrian (mostly) and I walk that extra bit furthre for any type of crossing.

I do think that drivers go too faster - I live in North Heath and have for years. I didn't realise that this has recently been changed to a race track. Pedestrians and cyclists need to pay attention to vehicle dirvers and be courteous to them and the vehicle driver behave the same.
[quote][p][bold]handymanchris[/bold] wrote: Pedestrians need to be educated... See that crossing 20 yards up the road. Use it![/p][/quote]Totally agree with you - I am a pedestrian (mostly) and I walk that extra bit furthre for any type of crossing. I do think that drivers go too faster - I live in North Heath and have for years. I didn't realise that this has recently been changed to a race track. Pedestrians and cyclists need to pay attention to vehicle dirvers and be courteous to them and the vehicle driver behave the same. concerned.erith

11:40am Thu 12 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

highway warrior wrote:
Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception!
There's nothing like a glimpse of young breasts and firm buttocks in summer clothes to soothe the mind while stuck in traffic.
[quote][p][bold]highway warrior[/bold] wrote: Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception![/p][/quote]There's nothing like a glimpse of young breasts and firm buttocks in summer clothes to soothe the mind while stuck in traffic. Gypo.Joe

12:20pm Thu 12 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

At zebra crossing or red lights, yes.....rest of the time, no! (other than the obvious exception as cited by Gypo!)
At zebra crossing or red lights, yes.....rest of the time, no! (other than the obvious exception as cited by Gypo!) PaulErith

12:43pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Locked an Loaded says...

Gypo.Joe wrote:
I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.
Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different!
otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol
[quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.[/p][/quote]Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different! otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol Locked an Loaded

12:56pm Thu 12 Dec 13

lorrie042 says...

There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe.
There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe. lorrie042

2:31pm Thu 12 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

Gypo.Joe wrote:
highway warrior wrote:
Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception!
There's nothing like a glimpse of young breasts and firm buttocks in summer clothes to soothe the mind while stuck in traffic.
Watch out the feminist's don't get ya. They want you locked up in prison for thinking that way. Like the liberal left, they all have opinions that wanna lock you away.
[quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]highway warrior[/bold] wrote: Superb point there Gypo Joe, the sunshine sheilas and yummy mummy rule is the obvious exception![/p][/quote]There's nothing like a glimpse of young breasts and firm buttocks in summer clothes to soothe the mind while stuck in traffic.[/p][/quote]Watch out the feminist's don't get ya. They want you locked up in prison for thinking that way. Like the liberal left, they all have opinions that wanna lock you away. white rabbit9

2:47pm Thu 12 Dec 13

tattman says...

crossings are provided for pedestrians, they cost money !!! but if a pedestrian wants to cross in front of my truck....i hope my brakes work !!!
crossings are provided for pedestrians, they cost money !!! but if a pedestrian wants to cross in front of my truck....i hope my brakes work !!! tattman

3:28pm Thu 12 Dec 13

sarfflondonbird says...

I don't stop for anybody between crossings/lights etc. only exception would be for old age pensioners, the rest can use the crossings that were meant to be used for crossing, and should they think of stepping out in front of my vehicle then I just carry on driving as though they are not there....gives them something to think about for the future (not they probably would as they don't have a brain cell between them)
I don't stop for anybody between crossings/lights etc. only exception would be for old age pensioners, the rest can use the crossings that were meant to be used for crossing, and should they think of stepping out in front of my vehicle then I just carry on driving as though they are not there....gives them something to think about for the future (not they probably would as they don't have a brain cell between them) sarfflondonbird

3:47pm Thu 12 Dec 13

molsey says...

concerned.erith wrote:
handymanchris wrote:
Pedestrians need to be educated...

See that crossing 20 yards up the road.

Use it!
Totally agree with you - I am a pedestrian (mostly) and I walk that extra bit furthre for any type of crossing.

I do think that drivers go too faster - I live in North Heath and have for years. I didn't realise that this has recently been changed to a race track. Pedestrians and cyclists need to pay attention to vehicle dirvers and be courteous to them and the vehicle driver behave the same.
Yeh, it's now called North Hatch.
[quote][p][bold]concerned.erith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]handymanchris[/bold] wrote: Pedestrians need to be educated... See that crossing 20 yards up the road. Use it![/p][/quote]Totally agree with you - I am a pedestrian (mostly) and I walk that extra bit furthre for any type of crossing. I do think that drivers go too faster - I live in North Heath and have for years. I didn't realise that this has recently been changed to a race track. Pedestrians and cyclists need to pay attention to vehicle dirvers and be courteous to them and the vehicle driver behave the same.[/p][/quote]Yeh, it's now called North Hatch. molsey

3:53pm Thu 12 Dec 13

molsey says...

lorrie042 wrote:
There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe.
Yeh, every bus stop should have a crossing, black and white paint manufacturers would make a fortune.
[quote][p][bold]lorrie042[/bold] wrote: There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe.[/p][/quote]Yeh, every bus stop should have a crossing, black and white paint manufacturers would make a fortune. molsey

5:24pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

molsey wrote:
lorrie042 wrote:
There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe.
Yeh, every bus stop should have a crossing, black and white paint manufacturers would make a fortune.
Molsey we don't want any black in OUR crossing if you don't mind.

We need segregated crossings and when do we want them,

NOW !!


THNAk Yuo
[quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lorrie042[/bold] wrote: There should be more crossings as where I live there is not one and the bus home drops me opposite so another crossing is needed so that pedestrians are safe.[/p][/quote]Yeh, every bus stop should have a crossing, black and white paint manufacturers would make a fortune.[/p][/quote]Molsey we don't want any black in OUR crossing if you don't mind. We need segregated crossings and when do we want them, NOW !! THNAk Yuo Gypo.Joe

7:58am Fri 13 Dec 13

Simon bald says...

Gypo.Joe wrote:
I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.
I'm getting the word nonce from this post
[quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.[/p][/quote]I'm getting the word nonce from this post Simon bald

8:37am Fri 13 Dec 13

christofearn says...

In general motorists are reluctant to 'give way' to anyone or anything, in my experience. Regardless of the highway code we all have a duty of care which, in my book, simply means we need to take care of those more vulnerable than us. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are all on a mission: to get to their destination as fast and as simply as possible. OK we, as pedestrians are told to use 'official crossings' but they are few and far between, and thus we are tempted to take the shortest route which may mean crossing a busy road unprotected, But pedestrians, like cyclists and motorcyclists do not enjoy the levels of protection that car drivers do. Hit a car and you dent it, hit a bike and rider, or a pedestrian and you crush them and easily kill or maim them. So easy back motorists, ignore who has what rights over another and let pedestrians and bike riders pass safely. As for the latter group, for Gods sake use your loafs, wear high visibility clothing or bands and make sure you have good visible lighting so that we motorists can see you. Dark road, stream of headlights coming towards you and a flicker of a movement and if your luck you see the pedestrian of bike rider in time. So motorists give way, nothing is THAT important but walkers and riders, use your heads, make yourselves stand out so we can see you.
In general motorists are reluctant to 'give way' to anyone or anything, in my experience. Regardless of the highway code we all have a duty of care which, in my book, simply means we need to take care of those more vulnerable than us. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are all on a mission: to get to their destination as fast and as simply as possible. OK we, as pedestrians are told to use 'official crossings' but they are few and far between, and thus we are tempted to take the shortest route which may mean crossing a busy road unprotected, But pedestrians, like cyclists and motorcyclists do not enjoy the levels of protection that car drivers do. Hit a car and you dent it, hit a bike and rider, or a pedestrian and you crush them and easily kill or maim them. So easy back motorists, ignore who has what rights over another and let pedestrians and bike riders pass safely. As for the latter group, for Gods sake use your loafs, wear high visibility clothing or bands and make sure you have good visible lighting so that we motorists can see you. Dark road, stream of headlights coming towards you and a flicker of a movement and if your luck you see the pedestrian of bike rider in time. So motorists give way, nothing is THAT important but walkers and riders, use your heads, make yourselves stand out so we can see you. christofearn

9:25am Fri 13 Dec 13

highway warrior says...

I think pedestrians should have to wear bright clothing as well, they stand in the road, all dressed in black and expect to be seen!! Or alternatively fine them for jay walking like the states if they don't use a designated crossing point!
I think pedestrians should have to wear bright clothing as well, they stand in the road, all dressed in black and expect to be seen!! Or alternatively fine them for jay walking like the states if they don't use a designated crossing point! highway warrior

10:00am Fri 13 Dec 13

rescoffering says...

Locked an Loaded wrote:
Gypo.Joe wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.
Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different! otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol
...what a filthy, vile, comment from the u.a.f. member 'gypo joe'.
[quote][p][bold]Locked an Loaded[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.[/p][/quote]Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different! otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol[/p][/quote]...what a filthy, vile, comment from the u.a.f. member 'gypo joe'. rescoffering

10:15am Fri 13 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

rescoffering wrote:
Locked an Loaded wrote:
Gypo.Joe wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.
Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different! otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol
...what a filthy, vile, comment from the u.a.f. member 'gypo joe'.
UAF!! Hitler would love him.
[quote][p][bold]rescoffering[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Locked an Loaded[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gypo.Joe[/bold] wrote: I always stop for cute looking girls and Mums, especially in the summer when they are skimpily dressed. It would be rude not too.[/p][/quote]Jimmy saville used to say something similar about "girls"? you need to rethink the words you type Joe as "girls" and "mums" are completly different! otherwise you'll be known as "gypo joe the perv" lol[/p][/quote]...what a filthy, vile, comment from the u.a.f. member 'gypo joe'.[/p][/quote]UAF!! Hitler would love him. white rabbit9

4:12pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ElsieH says...

Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness.
Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop.
Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness. Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop. ElsieH

5:30pm Fri 13 Dec 13

molsey says...

ElsieH wrote:
Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness.
Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop.
My designated crossing point is ½ mile up the road, what should I do?
[quote][p][bold]ElsieH[/bold] wrote: Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness. Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop.[/p][/quote]My designated crossing point is ½ mile up the road, what should I do? molsey

5:52pm Fri 13 Dec 13

white rabbit9 says...

molsey wrote:
ElsieH wrote:
Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness.
Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop.
My designated crossing point is ½ mile up the road, what should I do?
catch a bus.
[quote][p][bold]molsey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ElsieH[/bold] wrote: Jay walking should definitely be banned. Too many people are simply too lazy to walk to a designated crossing point, which has been placed there for their safety. And to cross between cars in heavy traffic is just asking to be hit by a cycle or motorcycle - madness. Pedestrians also need to stop the attitude of having a "right" to step straight onto a crossing, without waiting for the traffic to stop.[/p][/quote]My designated crossing point is ½ mile up the road, what should I do?[/p][/quote]catch a bus. white rabbit9

5:50pm Mon 16 Dec 13

cherithporter says...

Yes, absolutely!
Yes, absolutely! cherithporter

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