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Just like drivers, pedestrians must follow traffic rules such as stop lights and walk signals. The purpose of these laws is to establish order and protect the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike. If pedestrians do not abide by the laws of the road, they may be fined by law enforcement or even worse, injured by a driver. Florida Statute 316.130 sets forth the rules that pedestrians must follow. This includes the guidelines for where pedestrians are allowed to walk and when they can walk. It also includes laws for motor vehicle drivers when it comes to watching out for pedestrians.
All traffic signals, such as signs, crosswalks, pavement markings, and signals, must be followed by pedestrians unless instructed otherwise by a traffic official or police officer. Failure to adhere to these directions can result in a ticket and put the pedestrian in danger. These laws include guidelines for a variety of different circumstances:
- Traffic signals: Pedestrians must adhere to traffic signals. This includes walk signals, traffic signs, and all other traffic control devices. If there is a police officer present, pedestrians must follow their instructions and commands.
- Sidewalks: Pedestrians are not allowed to walk in the roadway if there is a sidewalk available. There are certain exceptions that allow pedestrians to use the road such as emergency situations or when the sidewalk is obstructed with construction or a barrier. In situations where there is no sidewalk, pedestrians are required to walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
- Crosswalks: Pedestrians must use crosswalks when provided. When using a crosswalk, pedestrians must stay to the right half of the markings. It is illegal to cross through intersections diagonally unless specifically instructed otherwise by traffic control devices. If a pedestrian is crossing a road not marked by a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to the right of way of vehicles on the roadway. This includes crossing roadways where there is an available pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing. If the pedestrian has a walk signal, drivers of vehicles are required to stop for the pedestrians until the walk signal is off. If there is a crosswalk without traffic control signals or signs, drivers must yield to pedestrians when they are using the crosswalk. If the driver is already in the crosswalk, then the pedestrian must wait to use the crosswalk until the path is clear and the driver already in the crosswalk has the right of way. However, if there is a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crosswalk available, pedestrians must use these crosswalks and drivers have the right of way on the road.
There are also other laws for pedestrians including rules for bridges, railroads, and highways.
- Bridges: Jumping or diving off publicly owned bridges is illegal.
- Railroads: When the gate or barrier for a railroad track is closed or is being opened or closed, pedestrians are not allowed to pass through or around the gate. All pedestrians, just like drivers, must wait for the gate or barrier to be opened before passing over the railroad tracks.
- Highways: Pedestrians are not allowed to walk on interstates, freeways, or any other highways. This also includes ramps that connect roads to highways.
- Roadways: It is illegal for pedestrians to stand in roadways. This includes soliciting, guarding parked vehicles, and guiding vehicles that are about to park.
Florida law 316.130 also contains the general statement that vehicle drivers must use due care and caution at all times in order to protect pedestrians and avoid collisions.
If you are a pedestrian or a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident, an experienced lawyer can help ensure you receive the protection and compensation you deserve. Contact a lawyer, like a pedestrian accident lawyer from Jeff Murphy Law, for more information today.