The opinions expressed in the studies are those of the consultant and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.
Traffic rules for pedestrians
In addition to the rules which normally apply to all public highway users, according to the Vienna Convention, pedestrians are subject to specific rules defined in their national legislation in order to ensure that they can travel safely and easily:
- If, at the side of the carriageway, there are pavements (sidewalks) or suitable verges for pedestrians, pedestrians shall use them. Nevertheless, if they take the necessary precautions:
(a) Pedestrians pushing or carrying bulky objects may use the carriageway if they would severely inconvenience other pedestrians by walking on the pavement (sidewalk) or verge;
(b) Groups of pedestrians led by a person in charge or forming a procession may walk on the carriageway.
- If it is not possible to use pavements (sidewalks) or verges, or if none is provided, pedestrians may walk on the carriageway; where there is a cycle track and the density of traffic so permits, they may walk on the cycle track, but shall not obstruct cycle and moped traffic in doing so.
- Pedestrians walking on the carriageway shall keep as close as possible to the edge of the carriageway.
- It is recommended that domestic legislation should provide as follows: pedestrians walking on the carriageway shall keep to the side opposite to that appropriate to the direction of traffic except where to do so places them in danger. However, persons pushing a cycle, a moped or a motor cycle, and groups of pedestrians led by a person in charge or forming a procession shall in all cases keep to the side of the carriageway appropriate to the direction of traffic. Unless they form a procession, pedestrians walking on the carriageway shall, by night or when visibility is poor and, by day, if the density of vehicular traffic so requires, walk in single file wherever possible.
- Pedestrians wishing to cross a carriageway:
(a) Shall not step on to it without exercising care; they shall use a pedestrian crossing whenever there is one nearby.
(b) In order to cross the carriageway at a pedestrian crossing signposted as such or indicated by markings on the carriageway:
(i) If the crossing is equipped with light signals for pedestrians, the latter shall obey the instructions given by such lights;
(ii) If the crossing is not equipped with such lights, but vehicular traffic is regulated by traffic light signals or by an authorized official, pedestrians shall not step onto the carriageway while the traffic light signal or the signal given by the authorized official indicates that vehicles may proceed along it;
(iii) At other pedestrian crossings, pedestrians shall not step on to the carriageway without taking the distance and speed of approaching vehicles into account.
(c) In order to cross the carriageway elsewhere than at a pedestrian crossing signposted as such or indicated by markings on the carriageway, pedestrians shall not step on to the
carriageway without first making sure that they can do so without impeding vehicular traffic.
(d) Once they have started to cross a carriageway, pedestrians shall not take an unnecessarily long route, and shall not linger or stop on the carriageway unnecessarily.
(UNECE, 1993 )