When you hear the phrase, “Share the road,” you likely think of the driver’s responsibility to ensure they obey traffic laws and share the road with cyclists and pedestrians, but sharing the road is everyone’s responsibility. While on the road, pedestrians must adhere to the rules of the road as well.
Florida Motor Vehicle Statute § 316.130 outlines the pedestrian traffic regulations in detail. Below, we will discuss the rules included in the law. Understanding the laws can not only help you stay safe on the road but can also help you protect others. Failure to adhere to any of the following laws is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction
Obey Traffic Control Signals
Unless a traffic or police officer directs you, you must obey the traffic signals applicable to pedestrians, including at intersections. Adhering to traffic controls also involves obeying the “don’t walk” or “walk” signs.
If a sidewalk is available, pedestrians are not allowed to walk on or along the side of the roadway (unless there are extenuating circumstances). When there is not a sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the left side shoulder. You should walk facing the approaching traffic.
Do Not Stand in the Road
Pedestrians cannot stand in the road that is paved for vehicle traffic to solicit a ride, job, or business from a driver; they also cannot stand on or near the street or highway to solicit someone to watch or guard a vehicle that is parked or about to park. Pedestrians are also prohibited from leaving the curb suddenly and walking or running into the path of a vehicle, making it impossible for a vehicle to stop.
Yielding the Right-of-Way
Drivers should yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing the street within a crosswalk when there are no traffic signals or signs in place. However, pedestrians must also yield the right-of-way to vehicles in certain instances, including but not limited to:
- When they cross the road using a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing.
- When they cross the road outside of a crosswalk.
Pedestrians cannot enter or stand on a bridge or walk behind a bridge gate or barrier if a signal is given, and they cannot pass under, over, or around a closed barrier or gate. This applies to bridges, crossing gates, and railroad crossings. Pedestrians are also prohibited from jumping or fiving from public bridges (even if a sign isn’t posted).
General Safety Tips for Pedestrians
Traffic regulations are meant to protect drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and others on the road. In addition to avoiding a ticket, adhering to the laws can keep you safe. Here are some more safety tips for pedestrians.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs before going on a walk as they can impair your senses.
- Carry a flashlight and wear reflectors at night.
- Wear bright or light-colored clothing.
- Cross the road in safe locations, and don’t leave the curb suddenly.
- Stand in clear view of the road.
- Only wear one headphone to ensure you can hear and are alert of your surroundings.
- Do not run across the street if traffic is moving.
- Do not cross the street diagonally unless directed.
- Look both ways before you cross the street.
- Cross the street in well-lit areas at night.
If you are charged with a noncriminal traffic violation, you should retain The Wiseman Law Firm. Pleading guilty or paying the fine without speaking with a lawyer is a huge mistake because our attorney can best advise you of your options. To schedule a case consultation, contact our firm online or at 407-420-4647 today.