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yielding to pedestrians

Laws regarding when drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians vary from state to state and are usually located in a state’s statutes—often in the motor vehicle code, traffic code, or transportation code, for example. Cities and towns (municipalities) may also have local laws (ordinances) that govern when and where pedestrians or drivers have the right of way.

Although laws vary from state to state, in most states:

• Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.

• Drivers must yield to a pedestrian crossing on a sidewalk in front of an alley, building, driveway, or private road.

• Drivers must yield to a pedestrian crossing the street and approaching the driver’s half of the roadway.

And in most states:

• Pedestrians must yield the right of way to motor vehicles if the pedestrian is crossing anywhere other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

• When there are traffic lights present, pedestrians may only cross when there is a flashing walk signal (often showing the seconds remaining in the walk period).

In Texas, the Transportation Code outlines the regulations regarding when drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians. Consistent with many states, Texas law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians at both marked and unmarked crosswalks. Additionally, drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing a sidewalk when exiting an alley, driveway, or private road. When a pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway as the vehicle or approaching so closely from the opposite half to be in danger, drivers are also required to yield. Conversely, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing the road at any point that is not a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Furthermore, at intersections with traffic control signals, pedestrians must obey the pedestrian signals and only cross during the walk phase indicated by a flashing or steady walk signal. Local municipalities in Texas may have additional ordinances that further regulate pedestrian right-of-way, so it is important for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of and comply with both state and local laws.

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Understanding Pedestrian Rights, Obligations, and Laws
Whether you're walking to work, taking a leisurely stroll, or crossing the street to catch a bus, being a pedestrian is something most of us engage in daily. Pedestrian rights and laws are designed to ensure safety on the roads at all times.