Many of us walk every day, but how well do we know the pedestrian road rules in Victoria?

As pedestrians, we may not think as much about road rules as we would when driving, but we are bound by several regulations, just like cyclists and motorists. Pedestrians include those on foot, those pushing a bicycle, or using a wheeled device such as a skateboard, roller skates or rollerblades, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters.

Do you know these pedestrian rules?

  1. Crossing a road with lights or a crossing
    1. When dedicated crossings or pedestrian lights exist, use them. Do not cross if facing a red traffic light or red pedestrian light, even where there is no oncoming traffic. Do not cross at a level crossing when there are flashing lights or sounding alarms.
  2. Crossing a road without lights or a crossing:
    1. If the nearest crossing or pedestrian lights are more than 20 meters away, you do not have to use them. However, use the shortest and most direct route to cross the road and avoid moving into the path of a vehicle in a way that would cause a hazard.
  3. Walking on the road:
    1. In most cases, it is illegal for pedestrians to walk on the road. However, if there is no footpath or nature strip available, pedestrians are allowed to walk on the road but should travel along the oncoming traffic side of the road. Pedestrians cannot travel along paths marked as bike lanes and should give way to cyclists and other wheeled device users when crossing a marked path.
  4. Pedestrians must also obey traffic signs relevant to them, e.g. ‘no pedestrians’, and traffic orders given by police.

Other pedestrian etiquette:

  1. Stick to the left:
    1. Walk on the left side of the footpath, so others can pass on your right. Be mindful of others who may be in a rush, particularly if you are walking near a major transport hub.
  2. Don’t crowd the footpath:
    1. Be aware of other pedestrians around you, including those behind you, and move into a single file to let others pass. Allow pedestrians who are elderly, with children, or have reduced mobility additional space.
  3. Reconsider smoking or vaping while moving:
    1. Smoking or vaping while walking increases the likelihood of other pedestrians breathing in secondhand smoke. In Melbourne, smoking is illegal in several high foot traffic areas such as Bourke Street Mall and the Tan. Stop to one side if you need to smoke, or find a designated outdoor smoking area.

Do you also know these rules for motorists regarding pedestrians?

  1. Giving way:
    1. Pedestrians have the right of way over motorists at most intersections, slip lanes, shared areas where vehicles and pedestrians share the road, and when making a U-turn. The exception to this is roundabouts, where motorists have right of way.
  2. Driveways:
    1. Pedestrians also have the right of way when using a footpath that crosses over a private driveway. Motorists must wait for the pedestrian to finish crossing the driveway before entering it.
  3. Dropping off passengers:
    1. Motorists should pull over to a complete stop before letting any passengers out of the car. Pedestrians cannot exit a moving vehicle.


So, there you have it! Now you know the ins and outs of being a pedestrian in Victoria! For more tips and tricks, keep an eye on our socials – you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.

Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.