The encounters between a drivers and pedestrians at a crosswalk can bring a variety of emotion on both sides; that is why it is important to understand what your rights and responsibilities are in either situation. Take a look at this simplified list of laws that explain the do’s and don’ts at a crosswalk for pedestrians and drivers!
- A pedestrian cannot suddenly leave a curb, or other places of safety, and step into the path of a vehicle that is “so close as to constitute an immediate hazard” (41-6a-1002)
- At traffic-light intersections, pedestrians must cross at marked crosswalks (41-6a-1003)
- Pedestrians, unless directed by a traffic officer, cannot cross diagonally (41-6a-1003)
- At any point outside of a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield (41-6a-1003)
- Facing a “Walk” or “Walking Person” symbol, pedestrians may proceed through the designated crosswalk area (41-6a-306)
- Facing a “Don’t Walk” or “Upraised Hand” symbol, pedestrians may not proceed through the designated crosswalk area (41-6a-306)
- Unless directed otherwise, Pedestrians cannot walk through a crosswalk while facing a red light (41-6a-306)
A lot of this may seem like common sense considering people usually do not like put themselves into dangerous situations, but sometimes the rules as a driver are a little more unclear.
- Must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk if they are in, or approaching, the half of the roadway the driver is traveling in by slowing or stopping completely (41-6a-1002)
- Must come to a complete stop at a school crosswalk if it is occupied (41-6a-1002)
- When approaching a vehicle stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk of an intersection, you are not permitted to “overtake and pass the stopped vehicle” (41-6a-1002)
- Drivers turning left or right at a green light must yield to pedestrians that are in “an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited” (41-6a-305)
OTHER RELATED TIPS
When driving, it is always a good idea to yield to pedestrians considering they might not see you and may misunderstand that you may have the right-of-way. In order to avoid any further risk of a car accident or personal injury, here are a few more helpful ideas to keep in mind!
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Be especially careful around cyclists, scooters, skateboarders, and other relatable persons using a device that may make it harder for them to stop at intersections.
- Watch for pedestrians wearing headphones or distracted by their cell phone.
- Pay special attention to younger children and older adults who may be less aware
- Make eye contact with pedestrians to let them know you see them.
- Give pedestrians extra time to get out of crosswalks and back onto the sidewalk.
- When in doubt, give the pedestrian the right of way.
Sources to Utah Traffic Laws