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Pedestrians - which side of the road?

ManOfKentManOfKent Posts: 392
edited March 2014 in The cake stop
Does anyone have a recent copy of the Highway Code handy?

When I was a kid, I was always told that where there's no pavement I should walk facing oncoming traffic (i.e. on the right, whereas I would drive/ride on the left), presumably so as to be able to see it. Now when I'm out in the lanes, joggers, dog walkers and people out for a stroll almost always do exactly the opposite.

Has the official guidance changed on this, or are people just ignorant of what they're supposed to be doing?

Posts

  • AKAIK yes; you are advised to walk towards oncoming traffic. The main reason being for your own benefit, that you can see someone coming without having to look behind you and you can step aside.


    If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and

    be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light
    keep close to the side of the road.

    It may be safer to cross the road well before a sharp right-hand bend so that oncoming traffic has a better chance of seeing you. Cross back after the bend.
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    ManOfKent wrote:
    Has the official guidance changed on this, or are people just ignorant of what they're supposed to be doing?

    No, they're probably doing it deliberately just to wind you up :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • arran77 wrote:
    ManOfKent wrote:
    Has the official guidance changed on this, or are people just ignorant of what they're supposed to be doing?

    No, they're probably doing it deliberately just to wind you up :wink:

    It doesn't bother me, I was just curious. Although it's good to know that next time I'm in a bad mood and there are no inconsiderate motorists around, I can still find someone whose actions are worthy of a stress-relieving reprimand. :D
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,148
    I doubt most people have a scooby which side they should walk on. Some have a problem working out what side to drive on from what I've seen! I have to quite often walk on rural roads as part of my work and generally follow the walk on the right rule but there are times on twisty roads where it is safer to walk on the outside of bends even if that means you are on the left.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    In my own experience,those from more rural areas seem to be more clued up on this. This is probably true about most things though :)
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Pross wrote:
    I doubt most people have a scooby which side they should walk on.

    It's just common sense though, I'd far rather be able to see what's potentially going to mow be down :wink:
    "Arran, you are like the Tony Benn of smut. You have never diluted your depravity and always stand by your beliefs. You have my respect sir and your wife my pity" :lol:

    seanoconn
  • I believe it's a significant issue in America (not in the UK that I've noticed) that people mistake this advice and think that it applies to cycling too, i.e. that you should cycle against the flow of traffic. Darwin at work I suppose.
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    Damn it!!!, I bet you don't pay road tax either or wear a helmet.

    But always walk/swim - depending on where you live - on right other than where common sense dictates otherwise
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    I believe it's a significant issue in America (not in the UK that I've noticed) that people mistake this advice and think that it applies to cycling too, i.e. that you should cycle against the flow of traffic. Darwin at work I suppose.

    not helped when UK road planners seem to increasingly favour contra flow cycle lanes in city centres as solutions.

    I just dont think the "walk towards oncoming traffic thing" is taught so much, if at all, or is made as much of as it was used to, probably a public information film buried in the archives somewhere.

    running towards oncoming traffic is a bit weird though, I encountered a jogger the other week on my weekend ride route running towards me, scared the life out of me as they just suddenly appeared round this corner :lol:
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    the rural practice was to walk facing oncoming traffic except at a blind bend where you cross for better visibility. Is a bit too complicated for the highway code but easy enough for sensible children.
    Why do groups of peds split apart and scatter for cyclists?
  • MichaelW wrote:
    Why do groups of peds split apart and scatter for cyclists?
    They behave like a gas expanding to fill all the space available (except the pavement, if there is one).
  • Sirius631Sirius631 Posts: 1,015
    arran77 wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    I doubt most people have a scooby which side they should walk on.

    It's just common sense though, I'd far rather be able to see what's potentially going to mow be down :wink:

    I guess your be refusing the blindfold when they've got you in front of the firing squad.
    To err is human, but to make a real balls up takes a super computer.
  • I live in a village and when not riding my bike I am often out running round the lanes. I was always brought up to walk / run facing oncoming traffic and when it is daylight I always do this, unless it safer to move to the other side round a blind bend or something. But I have found at night when I run wearing a head-light and hi-viz jacket, that if I run towards oncoming traffic they don't dip their lights. But if I run on the other side of the road (I.e same side as another vehicle driving towards them) , then they do dip their lights. I put this down to drivers not thinking that they have to dip lights for pedestrians (and duly blinding them with full beam) whereas when they see my light on the other side they think I am another oncoming vehicle of some sort.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,318 Lives Here
    MichaelW wrote:
    Why do groups of peds split apart and scatter for cyclists?
    Not only do they scatter, but if there are two people walking on a shared path and you ring your bell as you approach the one on the left invariably moves to the right and the one on the right goes left. Then nearly fall over themselves as they cross.
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