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Pedestrian Accidents and Laws

A group of pedestrian cross the street

A pedestrian is no match for a motor vehicle in the event of a collision. Motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents can result in pain, suffering, and sometimes death. It is important, for their own safety and the rights of others, for pedestrians to understand the law when it comes to navigating sidewalks and roadways.

Pennsylvania Pedestrian Laws and Rights

Some of the significant laws governing pedestrians in Pennsylvania provide that:

  • A pedestrian must obey the instructions of a police or traffic control officer, and in some localities, traffic- and pedestrian-control signals. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3541)
  • When traffic-control control signals are not in place or not operating, the driver of a motor vehicle must yield the right-of- way to a pedestrian crossing the road within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection, but a pedestrian must take care not to suddenly enter the path of a nearby motor vehicle. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3542)
  • A pedestrian crossing the road at any point where there is no crosswalk must yield the right-of- way to all vehicles on the roadway. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3543)
  • A pedestrian who chooses not to use an available tunnel or overhead crossing must yield the right-of- way to all vehicles on the roadway. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3543)
  • In urban districts with operating traffic-control signals, a pedestrian may only cross at a marked crosswalk. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3543)
  • A pedestrian may not cross an intersection diagonally, unless authorized by official traffic-control devices or at the direction of a police or traffic control officer. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3543)
  • A pedestrian must use a sidewalk where available, not the roadway, and if a sidewalk is not available, a pedestrian must walk on the shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the road. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3544)
  • No person may stand on the road for purposes of soliciting a ride, employment, business, contributions, or the guarding of parked vehicles. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3545)
  • Motor vehicles may not be driven at any time through or within safety zones. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3546)
  • A driver leaving or entering an alley, building, private road, or driveway must yield the right-of- way to any pedestrian approaching on any sidewalk running across the alley, building entrance, road, or driveway. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3547)
  • A pedestrian must yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle using approved visual and audible signals (lights and sirens), but the driver must act with due care to avoid hitting any pedestrians. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3548)
  • A driver must yield the right-of- way to any totally or partially blind pedestrian carrying a clearly visible white cane or accompanied by a guide dog. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3549)
  • A pedestrian under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point that the pedestrian is a hazard may not walk on a highway (except on a sidewalk). (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3550)
  • A pedestrian must comply with bridge and railroad crossing signals, gates, and barriers. (75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3551)

Pedestrian Accidents

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents do occur, including in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle and need a lawyer, Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C. has top attorneys who are experienced in getting victims the compensation they deserve—whether that means taking the case to a courtroom trial or negotiating a settlement.


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