Without a vehicle or protective equipment, pedestrians are the roadway users most at risk in traffic. Drivers and pedestrians are both responsible for traffic safety. A simple rule is that drivers should always be prepared to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Important laws and safety tips pedestrians should know are:
Pedestrian Safety Guidelines
- Be predictable. Use sidewalks where provided. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
- If a side walk is closed due to construction, cross the street and use the sidewalk on the other side or find a safe alternate route out of traffic.
- Make it easy for drivers to see you, dress in light colors and wear reflective materials. if walking at night use an device to illuminate you.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to be sure they see you!
- Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely, just like they do a persons ability to drive.
- Use extra caution when crossing multiple lane, higher speed streets.
- Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrians are most often hit by cars when they cross the road at places other than intersections.
- Look Left, Right and Left for traffic. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic. Stopped at the curb signals drivers that you intend to cross.
Always obey traffic signals. At intersections where traffic is controlled by signals or a police officer, pedestrians must obey the signal and not cross against the stop signal unless specifically directed to do so by a police officer.
- If a car is parked where you are crossing make sure there is no driver in the car. Then go to the edge of the car and look left, right, left until no cars are coming. Keep looking for cars while you are crossing.
- Be alert - especially at Right turn on red intersections.
Traffic Signals, Walklights, and Crossings
Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to drivers by obeying traffic signals, observing walk lights and using crosswalks. The pedestrian signals are:
Walk (constantly lighted): Pedestrians facing the signal may cross the roadway in the direction of the signal.
Don't Walk (Flashing): Pedestrians may not start entering the roadway. Any pedestrian who has partly completed his cross during the constantly lighted WALK may continue to a sidewalk or safety island.
Don't Walk (constantly lighted): Pedestrians may not enter the roadway.
Yellow Light (constant): Pedestrians may not cross unless directed by a pedestrian control sign or police officer.
Where to Walk
Tunnels and Pedestrian Crossings: A pedestrian tunnel or pedestrian crossing bridge should be used when available.
Roadways Pedestrians must not walk on a roadway unless there is no sidewalk or shoulder next to it. Under these conditions, pedestrians should always walk close to the outside edge of the road. In two-way traffic, pedestrians should walk facing oncoming traffic. Pedestrians should not walk on a highway when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Jogging Paths Joggers and walkers should use jogging paths when provided. On public roads, joggers should try to select wide roads with even shoulders. They should face oncoming traffic and pay extra attention to the road. When visibility of the road is limited, joggers and walkers should stay in well-lit areas and wear reflective clothing.
Gates and BarriersPedestrians must always obey railroad, bridge gates, and other barriers.
Hitchhiking: Hitchhiking means standing on the roadway and asking for a ride. It is illegal to hitchhike. If convicted, the pedestrian may be fined up to $2,500 and given a jail sentence of up to one year.
Soliciting: Soliciting means asking for something. Pedestrians should not stand on or next to a highway to ask drivers or passengers for employment or business. If convicted, the pedestrian may be fined up to $2,500 and given a jail sentence of up to one year.
Moving Vehicles: Pedestrians should not run or walk into the path of a moving vehicle.
Emergency Vehicles: Pedestrians should always yield to emergency vehicles and police vehicles that have sirens and/or flashing lights on.
Drivers Responsiblity and Pedestrian Safety
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalk and intersections.
- Don't block crosswalks when stopping at intersections.
- Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
- Take extra care around schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods.
- Always look for pedestrians, especially before turning at a green light or making a "right turn on red".
- Be careful when passing stopped vehicles. They might be stopped for pedestrians.
- Share the road. It's your responsibility to look out for others.