Many describe jaywalking as crossing a road in the middle of the street or outside of a crosswalk. It’s important to understand the legalities of jaywalking in Georgia and to consider safety tips when doing so.
Is it illegal to jaywalk in Georgia?
The state of Georgia doesn’t recognize jaywalking as a traffic law. In fact, under most circumstances it’s perfectly legal to cross a street without using the crosswalk.
The issue becomes who has the right of way. Whenever a pedestrian doesn’t use a marked or unmarked crosswalk, it usually means traffic has the right of way. So while it’s not against the law to jaywalk, the person must still yield to traffic.
Pedestrians may not cross between adjacent intersections each of which have traffic signals, unless they do so in a crosswalk. But they may cross between adjacent intersections if one of the intersections does not have a traffic signal, such as one with a stop sign, even if there is no crosswalk.
What are some safety tips for jaywalking?
Of course, it’s always safest for a pedestrian to use a crosswalk and adhere to traffic signals.
This is especially true in certain locations, such as in urban areas. But if this isn’t possible or there is any other reason for not doing so, keep the following tips in mind when jaywalking:
- always look both ways before crossing;
- make sure drivers can see you (wear reflective material at night, for example);
- avoid walking impaired, as that can affect judgment and reactions;
- avoid crossing roads with high speed limits or multiple lanes;
- don’t dart into traffic suddenly; and
- avoid crossing from between parked cars.
Drivers can also do their part to increase pedestrian safety and respect their rights to the road. Understanding the driving laws in Georgia that apply to pedestrian safety can help drivers understand when pedestrians have the right of way.
Pedestrians struck by negligent drivers may take legal action to recover damages. In such cases, Atlanta pedestrians can call Jason R. Schultz at (404) 474-0804.