Whether you are walking along a dangerous road like Tamiami Trail or out for an evening crossing main street in downtown, the best way for Sarasota pedestrians to avoid being in an accident is to follow the state’s pedestrian laws. While reckless driving can always contribute to or cause a pedestrian accident, following the safety laws laid out by Florida Pedestrian Statute 316.130 lessens this risk and keeps pedestrians aware and safe while navigating around the state’s roadways.
Defining A Pedestrian In Florida
A pedestrian is defined in Florida as any person traveling “afoot”. This means that these pedestrian laws do not cover bicyclists, but do include walkers, joggers, those on roller skates or blades, and on skateboards. Bicyclists have separate “rules of the road” they should follow when taking to Florida roadways.
Key Points In Florida’s Pedestrian Laws
Statute 316.130 lays out a number of laws for pedestrians in Florida, and some key points include:
• Pedestrians must obey traffic signals – Unless a law enforcement officer is directing traffic at an intersection, pedestrians must obey traffic signals at all times. This means that pedestrians cannot walk across the street on a red light, and all crosswalk signals must be obeyed. When no traffic signs or signals are present, pedestrians will be expected to navigate safely and follow all other pedestrian laws while crossing when they find a safe opportunity.
• Always walk on sidewalks – Where sidewalks are present in Florida, pedestrians are expected to use these sidewalks safely. When a sidewalk is not present, pedestrians may walk along the shoulder of the roadway out of the way of traffic. When walking on the shoulder of a road, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic so they may better see if a vehicle is approaching.
• Pedestrians must yield to vehicles except at crosswalks – Unless a pedestrian is crossing a roadway at a marked crosswalk, they must yield to traffic on the road. Pedestrians walking along the shoulder of the road must always yield to oncoming traffic.
• Pedestrians are not permitted to stand in roadways – Pedestrians are not permitted to stand in the road for any reason. Guarding vehicles in the process of parking, soliciting a ride, or soliciting business from drivers on the road is against Florida’s pedestrian law.
Motorist Laws To Protect Pedestrians
Florida’s pedestrian law doesn’t only cover what pedestrians must or must not do. The statute outlines a number of motorist-focused laws to protect pedestrians from traffic as well. Some key points outlined for motorists to protect pedestrians are:
• Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks – Motorists approaching intersections with marked or unmarked crosswalks must yield to any pedestrians waiting to cross. In crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way.
• Drivers must yield to pedestrians at stop signs – When approaching a stop sign, if a driver notices pedestrians waiting to cross, they must yield and allow the pedestrians the right of way before proceeding through an intersection.
• Vehicles may not pass other motorists waiting for pedestrians to cross – If a vehicle is approaching another motorist from the rear at a stop sign, crosswalk, or other intersection, they may not pass the stopped vehicle waiting for pedestrians to cross.
What If I’m In A Pedestrian Accident?
Distracted driving has become a big contributing factor in pedestrian accidents in the state of Florida. Pedestrians following all of the area laws may find themselves in an accident with a motorist who fails to do the same. If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident in the state of Florida, you don’t have to face this battle alone. Contact us at JusticePays.com today to see how our professionals can help.