Pedestrian Road Safety

Research shows that young children do not have the skills and experience to be safe in traffic on their own. Parents and carers need to take special care and supervise young children in traffic.

Children up to five years old

Parents and carers must always hold children’s hands when near traffic or the road. Once a child is mobile, especially walking, they must never be left unsupervised around roads or vehicles. Young children lack the skills, knowledge and judgement to be able to cope with traffic and so need to be constantly supervised.

Children five years up to 12 years old

Parents and carers can help children by providing plenty of practical supervised experience in using the road safely, as a part of the journeys taken every day. Research shows that children under age 12 do not have the skills and experience to be safe in traffic. Teach them safe traffic behaviour and set a good example.

Children 11 or 12 years and over

Children may become more independent in their travel, however in complex traffic situations they may still require supervision. Check regularly to ensure that children remember and follow safety procedures. Work with them to plan safe walking and cycling routes. Find out what road safety education programs are being taught at their schools, and reinforce what their schools are teaching.

Driveway safety

When you are walking with children it is important to demonstrate that children should approach driveways with caution. Engage children in conversations to help improve their safety when walking near driveways. For example, ask: how they can tell if a vehicle is coming out of the driveway? (e.g. listen for sounds, look for clues such as exhaust emissions, reversing lights or beeps from trucks).

Be A Safe Pedestrian

To be a safe pedestrian, use your eyes, ears, judgement and common sense.

Stop, Look, Listen, Think

Follow the safe road crossing procedure – STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK.

  • STOP one step back from the kerb or shoulder of the road if there is no footpath.
  • LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic.
  • LISTEN in all directions for approaching traffic.
  • THINK about whether it is safe to cross the road – when the road is clear or all traffic has stopped.

When crossing, walk straight across the road. Keep LOOKING and LISTENING for traffic while crossing.

This information is particularly relevant to young people learning to cross roads. But it also provides a useful reminder to everyone particularly to those who may be distracted when crossing the road.

For further information about road safety please visit the VicRoads website.