You might think that traversing a zebra crossing is fairly straightforward. As a pedestrian you cross the road when you’re ready and as a driver you stop if you see a pedestrian stepping onto a crossing and give way to them.
Rule 81 of Road Rules 2008 states that a driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing. And that a driver approaching a pedestrian crossing must drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing.
The rules are pretty straightforward, but zebra crossing etiquette is not. For example:
- Should a pedestrian thank a driver who has stopped at the crossing even though the driver is just following the road rules?
- If a driver does not see a pedestrian at a crossing (if a tree is for example is obscuring them) and has to stop suddenly, should they provide an apologetic wave to the pedestrian?
- If its peak hour, people are rushing to get home and emotional temperatures are rising, you can appreciate the patience of a driver who stops at the crossing. Is a courtesy wave from the pedestrian appropriate in this instance?
- What if a pedestrian is on their mobile phone and completely ignores the driver who stopped for them. Should they be expected to thank the driver?
It’s a grey area. What are your thoughts?
As a driver do you think pedestrians should thank you for stopping?