DS is just 2. He likes to go walking which is great. My rules are that he must hold my hand if we are walking along a main road, crossing any road, and at any other time I see fit.
Most of the time he's happy to oblige but sometimes refuses, if there's something very interesting he wants to get to (like a bus or horse across the road) or if his interpretation when he should hold my hand doesn't match mine!
My tactics are that I will ask him to hold my hand, tell him if he doesn't hold it I'm going to pick him up, and then pick him up, screaming and kicking.
Heh heh! Normal! I usually ignore/say well, mummy's going to the cafe now to eat cake" or whatever and shouty-floppy girl will get up fom the ground and follow me. She usually has a "moment" or two every time we go out but luckily they only last a minute or two as long as I dont interfere or try to reason with her. Just carry on as usual or say I'm going now or look at that, and she stops. Distraction often still works with ours at nearly two and a half, though not always. The promise of going on a ride (I dont put any money in) when we are out at the shopping centre also stops any moment she may be having - she just gets up and goes towards the ride (I point to one that is in the direction we need to go!). Being tired or hungry doesn't help (and that's just me!) and having snacks in the bag seems to help avoid a lot of tantrums, but carrying her when she gets tired is becoming more and more unpleasant for both of us due to her imense weight, so more and more lately we have to sit down on a bench or in a cafe for a rest instead.
I had exactly the same rules! Hold hands or be carried/go in the buggy.
The worst one was when he would hold hands happily for the first half of the road and then suddenly go floppy and I'd be manhandling the buggy with the other hand so would have to carry him by his wrist to the other side of the road
I've seen loads of parents carry their DC across a road if they won't hold hands, though. Especially screaming ones!
I go there occassionally.... DS NORMALLY good, but has his moments. Unfortunately he likes being carried (at just 3), so I go for the "undignified, sack of potatoes carry style" (so he doesn't see being carried as a good thing). Normally a few "are you ready to walk and hold my hand now?" along the way make him rethink ;)