• Activity
  • Walking

What are the risks for pedestrians?

Learning areas:
  • English
  • Health & Physical Education
Year levels:
  • Year 5
  • Year 6


Ask and discuss with the class their perceptions of the problems and risks that young people face when they are pedestrians. Probe factors such as gender, age, weather conditions, day of the week, month of the year, way to or from school, peer influences to act unsafely.

Show students CrashStats, an online crash database available from VicRoads (scroll down to Crash Statistics and then launch the application). Look at the statistics around pedestrian crashes in the local area or on a Victoria wide basis and ask students to discuss the statistics.

Have students write a summary report of their findings in relation to pedestrian crashes.

Cataloguing near misses

Invite class members to share experiences of ‘near misses’ they or a family member or friend may have had as a pedestrian where they have just avoided being injured. Discuss what is learned from ‘near misses’.

Compile (and continue to build) a class log of ‘near misses.’ Use this to discuss issues around pedestrian safety and how safety could have been improved.

Invite the class to review one of their near miss scenarios and ‘tell the story’ from the other road user’s perspective as a writing task.

Discussion questions

Crash statistics

  • What do the statistics indicate?
  • What does this mean in relation to decision-making about safe walking?
  • Do the statistics tell us everything about the risks for pedestrians

Near misses

  • What might have caused the near misses?
  • Do ‘near misses’ mostly occur when you are on your own, with an adult or with friends? Why could this be?

Information for teachers

There are road rules for drivers and riders to follow when interacting with pedestrians, for example:

  • A driver must give way to any pedestrian on a pedestrian   crossing, and must not overtake another vehicle which has stopped at a   pedestrian crossing.
  • When   turning at any intersection (except a roundabout), drivers must give way to   any pedestrians crossing the road they are entering. At roundabouts drivers   must be aware of pedestrians needing to cross, and to slow down and give them   the space and time they need.
  • When   entering or leaving a driveway or private property, drivers must give way to   pedestrians and bicycles on any footpath, path or nature strip they cross.
  • In   a zone shared by both vehicles and pedestrians, drivers must give way to   pedestrians
  • Drivers must give way to any pedestrian at or near the stop sign or line. This includes pedestrians as well as bicycles crossing in front of them on a shared or bicycle path.

Victorian curriculum

Health and PE

Level 5 & 6

Plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (VCHPEP108)


Level 5

Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (VCELY319)

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (VCELY329)

Level 6

Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (VCELY347)

Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (VCELY358)