Traffic laws help establish the rules and rights of those who use the streets, roads, sidewalks and highways throughout Peachtree City. But it’s important to understand how the laws may vary between a vehicle and a pedestrian. Learn what defines a pedestrian and how traffic laws may apply.
Definition of a Pedestrian in Georgia
By law, a pedestrian in the state of Georgia is any person who is afoot:
- wheelchair users;
- skateboarders; and
- inline skaters.
It doesn’t matter how short or far someone travels. It could be an individual who steps onto the sidewalk in front of his or her house or someone in a wheelchair waiting at a bus stop. Note that bicyclists are not pedestrians. They are simply bicyclists and must follow applicable laws, many of which are the same as other vehicles on the road.
Overview of Pedestrian Laws in Georgia
It’s critical that pedestrians and motorists in Peachtree City have a clear understanding of pedestrian laws. Least of all, this could avoid a driver receiving a citation.
But more importantly, it could prevent an accident. Since a person traveling afoot doesn’t have the same protection as someone sitting in a motor vehicle, pedestrians face a substantial risk of serious or even fatal injuries in the event of an accident.
One specific law that some motorists might not be aware of pertains to crosswalks. While the majority of drivers are usually aware they must yield to a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk, the law goes further and requires drivers actually stop for a pedestrian who is using a crosswalk and then remain stopped until the individual has finished crossing.
Therefore, a motorist can’t drive around a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk. Also, a driver can’t cut off a pedestrian who is crossing, even if the pedestrian is walking slowly and there appears to be enough time to pass. Anytime a pedestrian is in a crosswalk on the driver’s side of the road (regardless of number of lanes), the motorist must remain stopped.
If the person is in a crosswalk but on the opposite side of the road, a motorist must still stop and remain stopped when the pedestrian is within one lane of the driver’s side of the road Additionally, other drivers must also stop if another vehicle is stopped for a pedestrian.
Of course, pedestrians have the responsibility to cross safely. For instance, they may not suddenly dart out in front of vehicles, making it impossible for motorists to stop. Pedestrians are required to yield to vehicles whenever crossing any point of a roadway that isn’t within a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Pedestrians and drivers should also follow any and all traffic and crossing signals.
How Pedestrian Laws May Impact an Accident Case
When a collision does occur between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, it will be important to determine if any traffic laws were violated. This can help greatly in establishing fault and liability for the accident. Of course, it’s not the only means of determining fault, but it certainly plays a critical role.
If a driver violated traffic laws or otherwise acted in a careless or reckless manner, the pedestrian may be entitled to file a claim against that driver. And if the injuries were serious, it would be a good idea to first seek legal advice with a local attorney.
Jason R. Schultz helps pedestrians in and around Peachtree City file claims against negligent drivers, so call today to set up your appointment: 404-474-0804.