Stopping to allow pedestrians to cross the road is not only good driving etiquette, it will also keep you out of trouble with the law.
Failing to stop at a zebra crossing while a pedestrian is still on the road could land you with a hefty fine and points on your licence.
If a pedestrian has stepped onto the road, it is the responsibility of a driver to stop and allow them to reach the other side safely.
Passing through a pedestrian crossing without giving way to people trying to cross can land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence, under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
According to the Highway Code, drivers must “look out for pedestrians waiting to cross” and “give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing”.
So even if a pedestrian has passed your lane of traffic, you must still wait for them to cross the entire road – not just out of your own driving lane.
Central island crossings
The laws become more difficult to navigate when there is a refuge island in the middle of the road.
Zebra crossings which have a central island in the middle are regarded as two separate walkways.
This means that drivers are permitted to pass once a pedestrian has crossed in front of their of their vehicle and is standing on the refuge island.
Rebecca Ashton, head of driver behaviour at IAM RoadSmart, told The Sun, “The law states your must give precedence to any pedestrian on the crossing; the regulation itself does not define exactly what that means.
“And so there is some room for interpretation and regional differences.
“At the very least you must ensure the pedestrian feels that they have been allowed to cross comfortably and safely before making any move.
“If it’s a single crossing and someone steps onto the road from the other side you should stop.
“However, if for example the road is divided by a central reservation or large traffic island, as in many city centres, then the crossings could be treated as if it was two crossings.”