You are all familiar with such a situation from everyday traffic, when you stop or stop in front of a pedestrian crossing, where a person is standing whom you, as the driver, signal to cross. Such a pedestrian will enter the roadway at your command and cross the crossing. However, what if another driver hits it during this act, either the oncoming driver or the one who was driving next to you?

Photo: Jan Majurník

Failure to stop before a pedestrian crossing is punishable by an on-the-spot fine of CZK 2,500-3,500, in administrative proceedings of CZK 4,000-10,000, and always two penalty points.

Are you responsible as the one who gave the pedestrian the instruction? Or the driver who hit the pedestrian? What about the walker himself? We looked at this together with Pavel Greiner from the King Driving School (Prague, České Budějovice) and specialists from the Ministry of Transport.

And to make it clear and concise, this time we will take it cleanly, briefly and to the point:

  • Every driver has the duty to stop before a pedestrian crossing and to let a pedestrian who clearly wants to cross pass.
  • The pedestrian, who does have the right of way, must at the same time pay attention before crossing and while crossing. He is definitely not allowed to jump under the wheels of the car, enter the crossing at the last moment (e.g. rush out from somewhere and go straight to the crossing) and he really does not have absolute priority!
  • Drivers are only ordered by the legislation to give way to pedestrians, they can de facto show whatever they want and it will not affect the evaluation of the subsequent possible risk situation. The instruction does not make the driver an accomplice!
  • If a pedestrian, who has entered the road crossing at the instruction of driver A, is hit by driver B, then driver B, who violated the obligation to give way to the pedestrian, is fully responsible.
  • In the subsequent misdemeanor proceedings after the collision, it will be decided whether driver B could have stopped or could not stop because, for example, a pedestrian ran under his wheels. However, no one will decide whether the driver A was showing something to the pedestrian.

But what if it’s the other way around?

Sometimes it happens that the driver signals to the pedestrian that he can cross, however, the pedestrian also shows the driver in his politeness to keep going, that he will cross the crossing when the driver in question leaves, meaning that the driver does not have to stop.

So the driver drives off/continues driving at his polite gesture, and at this moment another pedestrian starts to cross in front of the speeding driver, who did not register the gesture of the pedestrian who let the driver go. This can cause another accident, especially for the driver who, in good faith, set out on the instructions of the first pedestrian, but endangered/hit another pedestrian.

The human side of things

Although the spirit of the law has already been replaced by the letter, it is still necessary to remember the human side of the matter. Pedestrians must be especially careful when crossing a multi-lane road and be sure that all other road users who are potentially crossing the road are able to slow down or stop in time.

In short, pedestrians must not just blindly trust one signaler who shows them that he is letting them go and that they can go. They have to see for themselves about the safety.

Foto: Shutterstock/V_Sot_Visual_Content

For proven endangerment of a pedestrian at a crossing, you will receive 6 points, an on-the-spot fine of CZK 2,500 – 3,500, i.e., in administrative proceedings, CZK 4,000 – 10,000.

In turn, when pointing to pedestrians, drivers should be sure that pedestrians are not in danger from other drivers, i.e. another vehicle in the next lane (mirror check) or an oncoming vehicle or other danger is not approaching. The driver should always evaluate the situation and then indicate if necessary.

If an accident then occurs, i.e. a pedestrian who entered the road on the instructions of driver A, is hit by driver B, driver A will not be criminally responsible, but he will be morally responsible. And it is also quite possible that the most valuable thing we have in life will be lost, and that is peaceful sleep.

This is how the law looks at the situation, but let’s not forget the human side as well. Someone advises pedestrians not to point, while others recommend first assessing the situation and then pointing. So, how are you doing? Do you show pedestrians that they can cross?

Do you gesture to pedestrians at the crossing that they can cross the road?

Yes, every time, without a second thought.

Yes, but only if I make sure it’s safe.

Yes, but only rarely and where there is virtually no other danger.

A total of 1 reader voted.