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Protect Pedestrians from Unfair Penalties

January 30, 2009 at 01:40pm by Sally Flocks · 1 comment

House Bill 13, which was introduced by Representative Kevin Levitas (District 82) seeks to amend Georgia Code 40-6-96 so as to to “clarify the legal activities of pedestrians.” The bill expands the list of things you can’t do in the street when a sidewalk is available to include running, jogging, striding and standing.  Runners appear to be the target.

As written currently, the Georgia Code and HB 13 allow no exceptions. If the legislature is going to amend the law by refining the definition of pedestrian, it should also protect pedestrians from being punished for conditions beyond their control.

A similar provision in Georgia Code 40-6-294 that requires cyclists to ride as near to the right side of the road as practical provides exceptions when “avoiding hazards to safe cycling.” In a state where broken, uneven, or overgrown sidewalks create obstacles or tripping hazards that make them impassable to people who jog, run, push strollers, or use walkers or other mobility devices, pedestrians deserve the same exceptions.

PEDS is urging Rep. Levitas and other representatives to amend HB 13 by providing exceptions for obstacles, hazardous conditions and special events.  Our amendment request includes numerous photos illustrating hazards that would compel people to walk or run in the street.

One Response to “Protect Pedestrians from Unfair Penalties”

  1. When walking home becomes a crime « lorigami,

    [...] Some cities (like my own) even refuse to take responsibility for sidewalk repairs, and then criminalize joggers and pedestrians for not using the broken, dangerous [...]