Pedestrian rules of the road: How to stay safe while crossing the street

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A pedestrian was hit by a car and killed on Mohawk Avenue in Scotia Wednesday evening, sadly one of nearly 300 average pedestrian deaths reported annually in New York State. Here’s what you can do to stay safe while walking along or crossing the street, from New York State’s “See! Be Seen!”

Which traffic laws apply to pedestrians?

Pedestrians must obey traffic control signals, signs and pavement markings when they are crossing a street.

Pedestrians are not allowed on expressways or interstate highways.

What is the law regarding crosswalks?

When there is no traffic control signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, particularly if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, or there is potential danger to the pedestrian.

In addition, every driver approaching an intersection or crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog or a cane.

What if there isn’t a crosswalk?

If there isn’t a crosswalk, sign or signal at mid-block locations, a pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

What about sidewalks?

The driver of a vehicle, when entering or exiting from an alleyway, building, private road or driveway must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk.

Pedestrians are required to use sidewalks where they are provided and safe to use. When sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian is required to walk on the left side of the roadway facing traffic.

Follow the Pedestrian “Rules of the Road”

Just like motorists, pedestrians are expected to follow certain rules of the road, including:

  • Pedestrians are to use sidewalks whenever they are safely available.
  • When sidewalks are unavailable, pedestrians must walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and/or traffic officers.
  • At crosswalks where there isn’t a traffic control signal or officer, pedestrians have the right-of-way.
  • If there aren’t any crosswalks, signs or signals, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.
  • Regardless of the right-of-way, the driver is required by law to take great care to avoid “hitting” pedestrians.

For more information visit: http://safeny.ny.gov/peds-ndx.htm

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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