Zebra Crossing

ROAD USER LAWS 101: 5 Traffic Crimes relating to Zebra Crossings

A Zebra Crossing is a type of pedestrian crossing. Pedestrian is derived from the Latin word ‘foot’. It describes people utilizing the street by walking or running as long as they are not traveling in a vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle. In Ghana, pedestrian crossing popularly called ‘Zebra Crossing’ is defined as a marked section of a road where pedestrians can cross the road safely designated by appropriate road traffic signs. Laws that govern pedestrian usage of roads began with the promulgation of the Kansas City ordinance in 1912. The first legislation in Ghana to directly mention pedestrian crossing was the Road Traffic Offences Regulation, 1974 (LI 952). Currently, Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (LI 2180) governs pedestrian crossing.

Zebra Crossings Regulations

  1. As a pedestrian, cross a road not more than 50 (approximately 66 steps) away from a pedestrian crossing, intersection, or authorized place. You could receive a fine of 5 penalty units or 7 days imprisonment or both upon summary conviction.
  2. As a road user in Ghana whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, motorist, vehicle passenger, or driver, do these 5 things and avoid accidentally committing traffic crimes. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
  3. As a seller or buyer, do not sell, display, offer for sale or deliver sold goods on the pedestrian crossing. Otherwise, you could be liable on summary conviction to a fine of 50 penalty points or 3 months maximum imprisonment or both.
  4. As a motor vehicle driver, you cannot park your car partially or completely park in a pedestrian crossing. You could be liable on summary conviction to a fine, not less than 250 penalty points, or 12 months imprisonment for wrongful parking. What do you do in a traffic jam? I recommend you park before entering the pedestrian crossing or wait till there is sufficient space on the other side of the pedestrian crossing before joining the end of the gridlock.
  5. As a driver, do not overtake a vehicle/motorcycle/bicycle preceding yours that permits a pedestrian to cross. In the event of this, you could be liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than 25 penalty points, or 30days imprisonment, or both. Unless you are a traffic warden or police officer, do not purport to direct traffic at a pedestrian crossing without prior authorization from the Metropolitan, Municipal, or District Assembly. If you do, you could be sentenced to between 10 and 25 penalty point fines or 30 days imprisonment, or both upon summary conviction.

Always remember that the pedestrian has the right of way over an approaching motor vehicle at the pedestrian crossing. Also, 1 penalty point equals GHc 12.00.

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Cecilia Opoku-Mensah

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