June 3, 2016

Many laws have been put in place in Pennsylvania to keep pedestrians safe, some of which focus on those people and some of which focus on the traffic around them. Below are a few key laws to know.

— If one car stops to let a person go across the road in a crosswalk, all other vehicles have to stop as well. This is to prevent a following car from trying to pass, not seeing the person and hitting him or her in the crosswalk. It is important to note that this applies in multi-lane streets, so drivers in the next lane have to stop even if no traffic is stopped directly in front of them.

— If there are control lights for the pedestrians telling them when to walk and when to stay on the sidewalk, they have to follow those controls. They should not cross against the signal, even if it looks clear to them.

— If there aren’t any light controls for the pedestrians, though, the pedestrians then have the right of way. If they are in the crosswalk, the vehicle has to wait for them.

— There are unmarked crosswalks. Drivers are responsible for knowing where these are and have to give the right of way to the pedestrians, even if they are not within any white or yellow lines.

— Similarly, it is assumed that a sidewalk extends over a road in a straight line when a driveway, alley or other such roadway cuts the sidewalk off. Therefore, cars also have to wait for pedestrians on the sidewalk in these situations. Again, these will often be unmarked.

If you have been injured by a driver who broke any of these rules, you may be able to seek compensation. It’s very important to know the specifics of the law when determining fault, as drivers may not even realize they’ve broken the law.

Source: DVRPC, “Pedestrian Safety and Laws in Pennsylvania,” Gary N. Modi, accessed June 03, 2016