New laws make pedestrians in Virginia safer

As of July 1, 2020, the roads are a little safer for pedestrians in Virginia.  Prior to July 1S t, the law only required vehicles to “yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk”.  At first glance, this may seem sufficient as a safety regulation.  However, this meant that as long as the vehicle allowed the pedestrian to pass, it could then proceed. There was no other time or space regulation for how far the vehicle had to be from the pedestrian or how long the vehicle had to wait before proceeding into the intersection.  At times, a vehicle that just “yielded” might end up a little closer to the pedestrian than many would be comfortable with given a choice.

pedestrian at crosswalk

New Requirements for Drivers

Now, that concern has been dealt with the newly amended Va Code §46.2-924.   In any intersection controlled by a speed limit of 35 mph or less, vehicles are now required to yield to pedestrians by stopping and remaining stopped until such a pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.  This requirement exists wherever the pedestrian enters the crosswalk (marked or unmarked).  For example, if the pedestrian enters the crosswalk on the side furthest from you, walking toward your lane of traffic, you must remain stopped until they have passed the lane of traffic in which the vehicle is stopped.

Keep in mind, however, that the law prohibits pedestrians from “carelessly or maliciously” interfering with the orderly passage of vehicles.  Nor should any pedestrian ever enter or cross an intersection disregarding approaching traffic.   Pedestrians are also responsible for paying attention at crosswalks, as well as obeying the “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” warnings when there are pedestrian control signals.[4]

New Requirements for Pedestrians

As a pedestrian, the law también le prohíbe entrar en una carretera donde no lo puedan ver:

Ningún peatón deberá ingresar a una carretera abierta al tráfico de vehículos en movimiento en cualquier punto entre las intersecciones donde su presencia quedaría oculta de la visión de los conductores de los vehículos que se aproximan por un vehículo u otra obstrucción en la acera o en el costado. La prohibición anterior no se aplicará a un peatón que ingrese a una carretera para abordar un autobús o ingresar a una zona de seguridad, en cuyo caso deberá cruzar la carretera únicamente en ángulo recto.

Just as motorists must obey laws to keep pedestrians safe, pedestrians themselves must obey laws meant to keep them out of danger. Pedestrians not only have the right of way on sidewalks, but they are also requerido to walk on them instead of the roadway when a sidewalk is available. If there is no sidewalk, they must stay to the far left, either facing oncoming traffic or on the shoulder if it is wide enough to provide safe passage.

If you have been injured during an incident when a driver or pedestrian did not follow this law, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Allen & Allen specialize in personal injury cases. Call us today or Llene nuestro formulario de contacto para una consulta gratuita.