Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities

What pedestrians should know

Crosswalks provide physical and legal protection.

  • Drivers are required to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Turning vehicles are required to stop for pedestrians, even on green lights
  • Crosswalks exist on all four corners of most intersections in Georgia- whether or not they are marked with painted lines.
  • Painted crosswalks sometimes exist mid-block as well.

In most places, crossing outside a crosswalk is legal.

But it may be unsafe.

  • Crossing outside a crosswalk is illegal only when the nearest intersections on both sides are controlled by traffic signals.
  • When crossing outside a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right of way to motorists.
  • Crossing the street outside a crosswalk and near it is dangerous. Turning drivers may not be able to see you.

Don’t be dead right.

  • Distracted driving is common. So, too, is aggressive driving. Don’t assume drivers will see you or obey crosswalk laws, speeWalk Tall-cropped website sized limits or traffic signals.
  • Use an outstretched arm to make drivers know you intend to cross the street. It works.
  • Be sure drivers see you and are slowing down before you step into a crosswalk. On multi-lane streets, do the same before stepping into each of the next lanes.
  • Look over your shoulder to watch for turning vehicles.

Be safe. Be alert. Be seen.

  • On streets without sidewalks, walk facing traffic. And step off the road when cars are approaching.
  • Listening for approaching traffic increases safety. Avoid talking on cell phones, listening to music or texting while walking in the road or crossing streets.
  • Many signalized intersections have left turn arrows. Stepping into the road prior to the beginning of the “WALK” phase may put you in conflict with turning vehicles.
  • Pushing buttons on signal poles activates pedestrian signals and increases the amount of crosswalk time.
  • The flashing “DON’T WALK” or upraised hand on pedestrian signals warns you that it’s too late to start crossing. If you’re already in the crosswalk, keep walking.
  • When walking after dark, wear light colored or reflective clothes or carry a flashlight.