Take a Moment to Read: Pedestrian Safety

Laws vs. Safety Tips

The rights and duties of pedestrians vary greatly depending on the situation. It's important to familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania laws, as well as common-sense safety tipsOpens In A New Window.

  • LAW: Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. If no sidewalk is available, you must walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • TIP: Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.
  • LAW: Motorists must yield to pedestrians crossing the street at marked and unmarked intersections BUT the pedestrian must either be within the crosswalk or affirmatively indicate an intent to cross.
  • TIP: Be visible at all times. Wear reflective materials, apply reflective tape, or use a flashlight at night.
  • TIP: Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections whenever possible.
  • LAW: Pedestrians shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.
  • TIP: Keep alert at all times. That means putting away your electronic devices so you can stay focused on the road.

Tips for the Motorist

The onus of safety doesn't rely solely on the pedestrian. As a motorist – especially in densely populated areas – it's important to always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see condition, such as nighttime or in bad weather.
  • It's illegal to pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can't see.
  • Slow down and pay attention when approaching or turning at a crosswalk.
  • If you are turning right at an intersection, and the pedestrian has a lit WALK signal, the pedestrian has the right of way.
  • Don't engage in distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off driving can have deadly consequences; a person engaged in distracted driving is up to four times more likely to be involved in a collision.