Pedestrian’s Right of Way

  • Home
  • /
  • Pedestrian’s Right of Way

A pedestrian does not always have the right of way

Although popular belief would seem otherwise, pedestrians do not always have the right of way when crossing streets.

A pedestrian’s right of way is actually limited to crossing properly - crossing at an intersection with traffic control signals means a pedestrian must obey the signals, and being within a crosswalk does not excuse violating the signal.

Marked and Unmarked Pedestrian Crosswalks

Crosswalks can be either marked, with obvious lines designating a pedestrian path, or unmarked. Marked crosswalks are often found at places other than intersections.

Unmarked crosswalks only occur in intersections as a type of extension of the sidewalk (paved or unpaved) across the street.
Arizona law defines a sidewalk as: The portion of a street between the curb lines or edges of the road and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians.

Crossing at Other Intersections

Pedestrians crossing streets at places other than marked or unmarked crosswalks are required by law to yield to the right of way to all vehicles.

When two adjacent intersections have traffic control signals, pedestrians are forbidden to cross the street outside of the marked crosswalks, for example in the middle of the block.

Due Care

Just because a pedestrian violates the street crossing laws motorists are not relieved of all responsibility. Personal injury lawsuits involving pedestrian accidents are generally based upon the assumption that the other party was negligent, although in some cases, defendants may argue for comparative negligence, in which case the pedestrian was partially or entirely at fault. There is a duty of “due care” on drivers to avoid hitting and injuring pedestrians who do not obey the law.

Regardless, pedestrians should always cross at an intersection if one is nearby, stay within the marked or unmarked crosswalks, and obey traffic control signals if they exist. Do not assume that others will follow the law - you can accept right of way when it is presented, but you cannot demand it.

Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC

Types of Cases We Handle

Schedule a Risk Free Consultation With Our Top Rated Injury Attorneys