When Driving, Who Has Right of Way?

Who has right of way when a pedestrian steps out onto the road? The person or the vehicle driving along? We address the Highway Code for the correct answer.

You may remember the old TV adverts of some cartoon hedgehogs trying to cross the road, and singing a song to remind us to stop and look both ways before doing so. No matter how catchy that song was, not everyone adheres to it today. As a result, it can be quite troublesome and even shocking to learner drivers whilst they are behind the wheel on the first few occasions.

Learner drivers are already under enough pressure and stress without additional external factors to worry about – but that is why we are here to help. When behind the wheel of a vehicle, drivers must always be vigilant and aware of pedestrians and others around them. At any moment, when at a crossing or otherwise, a person could step out onto a busy road.

At crossings, traffic lights or otherwise, the rule remains the same:

When do you give way to pedestrians?


You should also assume that a pedestrian will walk without looking and that they will not stop for you. It can be frustrating, especially when they are looking directly at you driving and still take that first step into the road. But remember, you are in charge of a vehicle – a powerful vehicle that you can control and can stop.

Whether pedestrians have priority or not, give way.

You should also allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross and never harass them by revving your engine or edging forward.

We recommend reading up on the rules for pedestrians crossing the road within the Highway Code for additional information.

GoGoGo Intensive offer five day intensive driving courses, covering both your theory and practical test, to ensure you’re ready to pass your driving test. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can educate you so you’re road-ready. Stop, look, listen, live, and you’ll be – king of the road.