The Law

DSC02307

Florida law is clear: Drivers approaching a pedestrian legally crossing a street at an intersection must yield – slowing substantially or stopping – to allow the walker to cross. This applies to bicyclists as well as motor vehicle drivers.

Driver Yield Law

  • Drivers must yield for a pedestrian in a crosswalk
  • Drivers may not pass cars stopped at a crosswalk
  • Turning vehicles must yield to pedestrians

If you fail to yield

  • Drivers face a fine of $164, and three (3) points on the driver’s license.
  • Worse, you could severely injure someone or take a life.

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Florida Statutes for Drivers

At an unsignalized crosswalk (Section 316.130 F.S.):

  • The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where a sign so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
  • When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and no sign indicates otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

At a signalized crosswalk (Section 316.075 F.S.):

  • Drivers must stop before the stop line or, if none marked, the crosswalk or, if none marked, the intersection. (If a crosswalk is present) the driver must remain stopped before the crosswalk to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
  • A driver on a one-way street who intends to turn left onto another one-way street: must stop on red, and may then make a left turn into the intersection on a one-way street (except where this is prohibited by a sign), but must yield to pedestrians and other traffic proceeding in accordance with the signal at the intersection.
  • Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed cautiously straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn, but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.
  • Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal may cautiously enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by such arrow, but must yield to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk

Visually or mobility impaired pedestrians (Sections 316.1301 and 316.1303, F.S.):

  • When a pedestrian is trying to cross a public street or highway, guided by a dog guide or carrying in a raised or extended position a white cane or walking stick, an approaching driver is obliged to bring his vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and, before proceeding, shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring such pedestrian.
  • If a mobility-impaired person (using a guide dog or service animal, a walker, a crutch, an orthopedic cane, or a wheelchair), is in the process of crossing a roadway at an intersection, a driver approaching the intersection must stop before arriving at the intersection and take reasonable precautions to avoid injuring such a pedestrian.

Duty to exercise due care (Section 316.130(15), F.S.) and drive at a safe speed (Sections 316.183, 316.185, F.S.):

  • Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.
  • No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, or vehicle on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care.
  • The driver of every vehicle shall drive at an appropriately reduced speed when approaching and going around a curve; approaching a hill crest; traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway; and when any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
  • The fact that a driver is traveling at less than the speed limit does not relieve him of the duty to reduce speed in such conditions.  A driver must reduce speed as necessary to avoid colliding with any person legally present on the street.

Other duties of Drivers:

  • The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard. (Section 316.125, F.S.)
  • Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle on a sidewalk or on a crosswalk. (Section 316.1945(1)(a)2,4, F.S.)
  • Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic control device, no person shall stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers, within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection. (Section 316.1945(1)(b)3, F.S.)

Florida Statutes for Pedestrians

Pedestrian use of streets (Section 316.130 F.S.):

  • Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
  • Where sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.
  • No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device, may go upon any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk; and, when so crossing, such person shall be granted all rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians.
  • No pedestrian shall walk upon a limited access facility (freeway or interstate highway) or a ramp connecting a limited access facility to any other street or highway.

 

Rules for pedestrians crossing a roadway mid-block, not in a crosswalk (Section 316.130 F.S.):

  • No person shall stand in the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle.
  • No person shall stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway.
  • A pedestrian may not cross between adjacent signalized intersections.
  • Except in a marked crosswalk, a crossing pedestrian must cross at right angles to the edge of the roadway, or by the shortest route to the opposite side.

Rules for pedestrians crossing a roadway in an unsignalized crosswalk (Section 316.130 F.S.):

  • No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path or a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
  • A pedestrian may not cross an intersection diagonally except where and when crossing is authorized by official traffic control devices.

At a signalized intersection (Section 316.075 F.S.):

  • Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal (see below), pedestrians facing a steady red signal shall not enter the roadway.
  • A pedestrian facing a green signal, except when the sole green signal is an arrow signal, may proceed across roadway in any marked or unmarked crosswalk (i.e., in the direction controlled by the signal face), unless directed otherwise by a pedestrian control signal.
  • A pedestrian facing a steady yellow signal indication is thereby advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red indication is displayed, and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

At a pedestrian control signal (MUTCD):

For pedestrians the directions of a pedestrian control signal supersede those of the associated traffic signal.  Pedestrian control signals may also be used at mid-block locations.  The meanings of the symbolic signal indications (or of the word messages still displayed on some older pedestrian signal heads) are not described in Florida Statutes.  They are described in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

  • steady WALKING PERSON (or “WALK”) indication: pedestrian facing the signal indication is permitted to start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal indication.  Pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that the WALKING PERSON signal indication is first shown.
  • flashing UPRAISED HAND (or “DON’T WALK”) indication:  pedestrian shall not start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal indication, but any pedestrian who has already started to cross on a steady WALKING PERSON (“WALK”) signal indication shall proceed out of the traveled way.
  • steady UPRAISED HAND (or “DON’T WALK”) indication:  pedestrian shall not enter the roadway in the direction of the signal indication.

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