When the rules of the road vary by state and not every city has crosswalks, or even sidewalks, pedestrian right of way may be confusing. Cars follow traffic lights and street signs but pedestrians have little to guide them when they walk near roads. Understanding pedestrian right of way laws can help to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe.
A motorist is required to stop and allow a pedestrian to continue crossing the street if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk. If a vehicle is behind a car that is stopped at a crosswalk, the vehicle behind must not go around the stopped vehicle until he knows that it is safe to do so.
Whether a crosswalk is marked or not, motorists must yield the right of way to the pedestrian. This includes bicyclists, motorcyclists, and drivers of all other vehicles. They must slow down and stop at a crosswalk when a pedestrian is crossing the street. If they fail to stop at the crosswalk, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Pedestrians may cross the street until they reach the center median. In that case, motorists on the side of the road that the pedestrian just crossed are welcome to continue driving.
Sometimes, pedestrians aren’t inside of the crosswalk, but motorists are still required to exercise caution when they are driving through these areas. The pedestrians are crossing the street in an illegal manner, but the motorist may only honk the horn and try to avoid colliding with the pedestrian.
If a pedestrian is blind, motorists must always offer the right of way. If blind pedestrians enter the road, motorists must always yield to them.
Penalties For Failing To Yield The Right Of Way
If a motorist fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, he will be charged with a misdemeanor. He may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $1,000. He may also receive a jail sentence of up to 6 months.
The penalties will be much more serious if the failure to yield to a pedestrian results in a minor traffic collision. In that case, the motorist would be charged with reckless driving. The driver would also be required to perform community service.
With A Collision
If the pedestrian was not seriously hurt, the motorist would receive a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. They would be subject to the following penalties:
- A fine between $250 and $1,000 for a first offense and community service between 50 and 99 hours.
- A fine between $1,000 and $1,500 for a second offense and community service between 100 and 199 hours.
- A fine between $1,500 and $2,000 for a third or subsequent offense and community service of 200 hours.
It is also a possibility that you could receive a 6-month jail sentence.
If the pedestrian was seriously hurt or killed, the motorist would be charged with a category B felony reckless driving. The fine would be between $2,000 and $5,000, and the jail sentence would be one to six years in state prison.
Without A Collision
If the motorist did not cause a collision, failing to yield to a pedestrian would be a misdemeanor. They could receive a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of six months.
Failure To Yield Inside Of A Pedestrian Safety Zone
If the failure to yield occurs inside of a pedestrian safety zone, the penalties are even greater in Nevada, according to a pedestrian accident law firm. If the motorist did not cause a collision, the court will double the penalties. The fine cannot be larger than $1,000, and the jail sentence cannot be longer than 6 months. The community service cannot be for more than 120 hours.
If the failure to yield causes a collision in a pedestrian safety zone, the court may double the penalties in this instance as well. The fine cannot be larger than $1,000, and the jail sentence cannot be longer than 6 months. Community service cannot last longer than 120 hours.
If You Were Injured As A Pedestrian
If you were injured as a pedestrian, contact your attorney. You may be entitled to receive monetary compensation that covers your medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering.
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