Walking is a fun, healthy activity enjoyed by many. Learning the traffic and trail rules will make walking safe. Pedestrian safety is a two-way street—both drivers and walkers must do their part.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Regardless of all other traffic laws, it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, even if the pedestrian is not following the law.
- When you see a child or a confused or incapacitated person, take precautions to operate safely and avoid potential for a collision.
- Drive as slow as necessary for safe operation at all times, particularly around pedestrians and children. This may be slower than the posted speed limit.
- On a roadway without a sidewalk, pedestrians may walk on the side of the road or shoulder. It is the driver’s responsibility to pass such pedestrians safely, exercising caution at all times.
- Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks (except at intersections with “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signals—then pedestrians must follow those signals). Drivers are to stop as necessary to allow people to cross.
- When one motorist is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk for a pedestrian all other drivers must stop, too. Do not pass a vehicle that is yielding to a pedestrian.
- Be especially careful to watch for pedestrians when turning at intersections. Pedestrians may come from an unexpected direction and may not expect a vehicle to cross their paths.
- If you encounter a pedestrian with a visual, physical or hearing impairment with white cane or guide dog, take precautions, as necessary.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Look out for traffic in all directions. Be especially careful of turning traffic at intersections.
- Give the motorist time to react; do not unexpectedly step out in front of a motorist.
- As a courtesy to other pedestrians, walk on the right-hand side of crosswalks.
- When no crosswalk is present, pedestrians must yield to motorists and cross the road by the shortest route.
- Except where crosswalks are provided, pedestrians are not to cross streets between signalized intersections.
- At railroad crossings and on bridges, follow signals and do not cross a barrier or gate that is down.
- Pedestrians must use sidewalks if they are available.
- Where sidewalks are not present, walk on the side of the road or shoulder. Walk on the left side, facing traffic, if possible.
- Visibility drops in the dark, pedestrians should wear or carry reflective articles and/or carry a flashlight at night.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing to make sure they see you.
- When available, use pedestrian crossings such as tunnels and bridges.
- Be especially careful crossing multi-lane roads. The motorist in the first lane may stop for you, but motorists in other lanes may not see you realize they must stop. Check for traffic before moving across each lane.
Filed under: News