Road rules for pedestrians


Blog updated on 20 August 2015.

Road aren’t only for motorists and cyclists - they are for pedestrians too. As with cars, there are a number of rules, some better known than others, that govern how pedestrians use the road - as well as fines for breaking them.

Fatal crashes on NSW roads are up this year compared to the same period last year, as is the number of pedestrians killed. There have been 41 pedestrian fatalities so far this year. In the same period in 2014, 28 pedestrians were killed.

Part 14 of Road Rules 2014 covers pedestrians. Some of the key rules in this section are:

230  Crossing a road – general

  1. A pedestrian crossing a road:
    (a)  must cross by the shortest safe route, and
    (b)  must not stay on the road longer than necessary to cross the road safely.

Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

236  Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction

  1. A pedestrian must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver.
    Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
  2. A pedestrian must not unreasonably obstruct the path of any driver or another pedestrian.

238  Pedestrians travelling along a road (except in or on a wheeled recreational device or toy)

  1. A pedestrian must not travel along a road if there is a footpath or nature strip adjacent to the road, unless it is impracticable to travel on the footpath or nature strip.

Read the full road rules for pedestrians.

Most of the Rules for pedestrians are taught to us as children. However, pedestrian deaths continue to be significant. As the road is a shared zone, it is important that all users respect and adhere to the rules to make it the safe place that it can be.

Should the rules for pedestrians be better policed?

How to play the car finance game


Buying a car can be a trap for the unwary. Although car buyers usually undertake significant research to ensure they get the right model to best suit their needs, they don’t always put as much effort into securing the right finance. This is a mistake. You need to dig below the surface when it comes to car loans.

Don’t rush into it. After negotiating the car purchase, don’t relax. At a dealer, you will now be offered a range of after-market products and accessories as well as finance. New car dealers can make a significant portion of their income through selling shortfall insurance, consumer credit insurance, paint protection and finance.

NRMA Car Loans offer the security of finance, but with a more flexible product so you can save money before you sign on the dotted line with a dealer.

Some buyers start off applying for a loan with NRMA but after they choose a car they can end up with dealer finance without understanding the fine print.

The NRMA Car Loan Satisfaction Guarantee allows car buyers to take the loan but still have the ability to withdraw at no cost if they find a better deal within three weeks. They just pay back the amount borrowed and all fees and interest charges are waived.

Buyers of private second-hand cars should check the Personal Property Security Register to ensure the car doesn’t have finance applying to it. If the old loan hasn’t been settled then ’your’ car may be considered collateral for that loan. NRMA will ensure that if a loan exists, the financier is paid out. We do that before your loan settles.

Loan tips

  • Take your time.
  • Check all the cost of all add-ons, including consumer credit insurance and shortfall (gap) insurance.
  • Cost can vary considerably between different finance providers.
  • Apply the same diligence researching the finance as you do to finding the car.
  • Check what the repayments will be.
  • Don’t look at just the rate – check all fees, charges and add-ons.
  • Be aware that if you sign on for finance and the car sale doesn’t go through, and then you do the same again elsewhere, then your credit record will show those repeat credit checks over a short period.

What has been your experience in financing your cars? Do you have any tips?

For more information please call 1300 732 398 or Apply now

Learning to drive at 50

Not everyone gets their learner’s permit when they turn 16. We speak to two new drivers who put it off for nearly three decades.


L PLATED: Armed and ready to go, James Powditch (pictured) has enlisted the help of  NRMA Safer Driving School to obtain his license.

When you drive past a car wearing L-plates you typically expect to see a teenager behind the wheel. But from time to time there will be a mature age learner – someone who has, after years of being a non-driver, decided to head to their local RMS office and take their learner’s test.

Michele Cranston, 52, a food editor and cookbook author, and James Powditch, 49, an artist, are mature age learner drivers who have enlisted the NRMA’s Safer Driving School to supplement supervised driving with friends and family.

People are curious and often ask both James and Michele why now, after more than 30 years, have they decided to become motorists?

“I grew up with my brothers and dad spending the weekend fixing their cars,” Michele says. “I was under the false impression that driving a car went hand in hand with fixing it all weekend.

“I moved to London early in my career and didn’t need a car, then moved to Sydney’s inner west and didn’t need a car, and then I had a child plus a job that involves travel, now I need a car and I need to know how to drive it!


A WHOLE NEW WORLD:  “I’m looking forward to exploring the Hunter Valley and driving the Great Ocean Rd.”

“I decided it was time to stop filling taxi coffers and sit on my own four wheels! I am looking forward to exploring great restaurants in distant suburbs and visiting specialty suppliers and food producers who up until now have been voices at the end of the phone. Plans are also being made for driving trips to far flung places; I’m looking forward to exploring the Hunter Valley and driving the Great Ocean Road.”

James, on the other hand, says his partner Diane gave him a gentle push towards their local RMS at Marrickville two and a half years ago.

“Diane has wanted me to drive for a really long time. I passed the Driver Knowledge Test, I was on my way, no turning back. In 2013, I was given an NRMA driving lesson for Father’s Day. It’s still unused, all intentions to learn stalled until recently,” recalls James.

“How have I lived without a licence until now? Living in the inner city made it easy, my friends had licences as did past girlfriends, it didn’t cross my mind that I should hold my own golden plastic rectangle. Impending births of two children weren’t even enough of an incentive, for the first arrival my mother drove us to the hospital and the second Diane drove herself.

“I can see a few changes in my life once I get my licence – the who’s driving question which hasn’t been part of my social life to date may be raised regularly.

“The upside: my son will be able to play soccer again as his games are often in distant locales across Sydney and most importantly, I will be able to take jobs that I have had to decline previously because I couldn’t get a lift or move my equipment.”

Both James and Michele will take 10 driving lessons with NRMA Safer Driving School, aiming for one each week and an additional 60 to 80 hours of drive-time with supervising family and friends. As both are over 25 years of age, they are exempt from completing the Learner Driver Log Book and the mandatory 120 hours of supervised driving

Did you take up driving at a later stage in life? What were the main challenges you faced as a Learner driver?

Translating car jargon

NRMA motoring writer Tim Pomroy lifts the lid on the myriad of mysterious motoring abbreviations.

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OMG, what’s ABS & ESC? No need to carry your acronym dictionary. Tim’s got you covered!

As an NRMA road tester, I am frequently – very frequently – asked to explain the meaning of the abbreviations that the motoring industry so often uses. To the average motorist, a lot of these shortened words are almost incomprehensible. Even professionals motoring writers can get confused!

So, to help you translate the letters into real words, I’ve compiled a glossary of the major abbreviations used by NRMA and Australia’s Best Cars. Take it with you next time you buy a new car.


ANCAP Australian New Car assessment Program.  Star rating assessment   given to occupant protection provided by vehicles in serious front and side crashes.

ABS Anti Lock Braking System                            DFSA Dual front and side airbags
EBD Electronic brake force distribution                DSA Dual side airbags
BA Brake assist                                                   KA Knee airbags
ABD Air Bag-driver                                              TCS Traction control system
DFA Dual front air bag package                          ESC Electronic stability control


GVG Green Vehicle Guide. The Green Vehicle Guide helps you by rating new Australian vehicles based on greenhouse and air pollution emissions

4WD Four wheel drive                                          PW Power windows
RWD Rear wheel drive                                         PWF Power windows front
FWD Front wheel drive                                         CD Compact disc player
AC Air conditioning                                               PFS Power front seats
ACC Automatic climate control                             SATV Satellite navigation and TV
ACCD Automatic climate control/dual zones        AW Alloy wheels

PFS1 Power front seats with memory                   IM Engine Immobiliser
CC Cruise control                                                 AL Alarm system, remote theft
PW Power windows                                              LT Leather trim
XN Xenon headlights                                           PSR Power Sunroof
XNSL Xenon headlights self levelling                   PS Power steering

Have you heard of these acronyms before? Are there any others that you are not familiar with?

NSW School Zones back in operation

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure NSW kids have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure NSW kids have a safe and happy start to the school year.

We remind motorists that School Zones are back in action in NSW from Monday 13 July to Friday 18 September 2015 (inclusive).

The 40km/h school speed zones operate across NSW at all school sites on gazetted school days (including school development days). Motorists should drive no faster than 40km/h through school zones. Most school zones operate from 8 to 9.30am and from 2.30 to 4pm on gazetted school days.

School zones operate and are enforced on pupil free days because pupil free days can vary from school to school. Consistent operation of school zones aims to reduce driver confusion, which improves the safety of school children.

There are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW. They are identified by red/orange school zone signs to show non-standard times. Signs at these schools show the times that apply.

Do you get stressed driving in school zones?