Are pedestrians required to obey general traffic laws?

Although pedestrians and bicyclists are not motor vehicles according to Florida Statutes, they still have the responsibility of acting responsibly when on the state roadways and highways. Not only is there a duty to act responsibly, pedestrians and bicyclists, in accord with Florida Statutes 316.130, are charged with obeying laws specific to being non-vehicles.

According to Statute, a pedestrian or bicyclist is required to obey any traffic device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer. Pedestrians and bicyclists must also obey any traffic control signals at all intersections as provided

Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.

Pedestrians and bicyclists are not allowed to stand in the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle nor shall they stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway.

Pedestrians do have the right of way , and Drivers of motor vehicles at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and there is no signage indicating otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk. No pedestrian shall, except in a marked crosswalk, cross a roadway at any other place than by a route at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb.

Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks. No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices, and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.

Unless otherwise prohibited by Statute, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.

No pedestrian shall enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given. No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed. No pedestrian may jump or dive from a publicly owned bridge. Nothing in this provision requires the state or any political subdivision of the state to post signs notifying the public of this provision. The failure to post a sign may not be construed by any court to create liability on the part of the state or any of its political subdivisions for injuries sustained as a result of jumping or diving from a bridge in violation of Florida Statute.

Pedestrians are prohibited from walking upon a limited access facility or a ramp connecting a limited access facility to any other street or highway unless the pedestrian is employed as the maintenance personnel of any governmental subdivision.

Pedestrians that violate any of the above laws may be guilty of a noncriminal traffic infraction.

If you are injured as the result of a motor vehicle-pedestrian/bicycle encounter, and are unsure of the laws surrounding that encounter,  you need the help of an experienced, aggressive attorney to protect your rights and insure you get all the benefits you may be entitled to. Dan Newlin & partners are exactly those types of attorneys, always fighting for everything their clients are entitled to. Their experience of handling over 10,000 personal injury cases, and dealing with most major insurance companies, allows them the ability answer all of your questions in a timely and professional manner and to maximize the value of your case, insuring that you receive all the benefits that you are entitled to. If you have any questions about what rights you may have as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle-pedestrian/bicycle accident, or any other type of accident, please call Dan Newlin & Partners at (407) 888-8000.