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Pedestrian safety

Pedestrians are vulnerable on our roads. Both pedestrians and motorists have a shared responsibility to keep our roads safe.


Pedestrian crash statistics


While pedestrian crashes don't feature highly in Auckland's crash statistics (representing 12 per cent of all injury crashes), they made up 18 per cent of fatal and serious injuries in the last five years.

Poor observation and failure to give way are the two most common factors in pedestrian injury crashes. The most common type of pedestrian crash is when a pedestrian crossing the road is hit by a vehicle approaching from their right (654 crashes). 

Forty-one per cent of the injury pedestrian crashes on local roads in Auckland were at intersections. Twenty-seven per cent occured at night. Teenagers and young adults are one of the groups most likely to be involved in pedestrian-related crashes.

Other key research facts:

  • There were 1,640 injury crashes involving pedestrians;
  • 52 fatally injured pedestrians, 393 with serious injuries and 1,246 with minor injuries;
  • Walking heedless of traffic (394), running heedless of traffic (445) and stepping out from behind vehicles (175) were the three highest pedestrian factors;
  • Auckland CBD has the highest number of pedestrian injury crashes (45%), with Queen Street, K Road and Hobson Street being the highest intersection crashes.

Source: NZTA's Auckland Region Injury Crash Data for the period of 2005 to 2009


Tips for pedestrians

When crossing the road, always check before you step. Too often pedestrians involved in crashes are distracted by mobile phones and music devices. 

In car parks/shopping areas

  • Be alert in car parks;
  • Watch for reversing vehicles;
  • Use identified walking areas.

Around parked vehicles

  • Avoid crossing between parked cars;
  • If unavoidable - check for a gap between unoccupied vehicles, stop at the outside corners of vehicles and look in both directions, before crossing;
  • Do not cross in front of buses.

Footpaths

  • Always use a footpath where provided, rather than risk walking on the road;
  • Watch and listen for vehicles entering or exiting driveways, especially sneaky driveways concealed by high fences and hedges;
  • Where there is no footpath, walk on the road facing oncoming traffic;
  • If you have a problem with the maintenance of an Auckland footpath, for example it has cracks, breaks or bumps in the pavement, potholes or water pooling on its surface, please contact us.

Tips for motorists

  • When driving, slow down around town centres to reduce the risk and severity of crashes invloving pedestrians;
  • Recognise that children are particularly vulnerable.

Pedestrian right-of-way

Pedestrians have the right-of-way over vehicles on footpaths. They also have priority over vehicles when vehicles are entering or exiting a driveway across a footpath.

The decision about whether an area is a driveway or an intersection is not always clear. In practice, if the entrance to the driveway looks like a road and not a continuation of the footpath, it should be treated as though you are crossing a road and pedestrians must give way to vehicles.

Pedestrian right-of-way

In this situation, a driver entering or exiting a driveway like this must give way to pedestrians on the footpath.

The footpath continues and is not broken by a kerb.

Intersection Crop

Vehicle right-of-way

It is illegal to cross the road within 20 metres of any pedestrian zebra or signalised crossing. It is also very unsafe - take a few extra steps to walk to the crossing. This means if you are closer than 20 metres to a crossing you must use it.

This situation is considered an intersection because the kerb is returned making it a road. Therefore, pedestrians should treat this as though crossing a road and give way to vehicles.