A Reminder From Chief Wusinich: Pedestrian Law for Pennsylvania Drivers and Pedestrians

As drivers, how many really know what the law requires of us when we come upon a pedestrian – either entering a crosswalk, at a traffic light, in a parking lot, or simply walking along the road? There are laws in Pennsylvania to protect pedestrians but by the same token, there are laws that pedestrians must observe with regard to their own safety as well of that of motorist.

The general rule for motorist to remember is that pedestrians sometimes have the right of way at intersections.  “When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right- of- way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.”  One very important fact for a pedestrian to remember is that a driver may not see you. Do not assume that because you see the driver, the driver sees you. In order to avoid an unnecessary accident, try to make eye contact with the driver; make sure they see you before you cross!

Pedestrians need to exercise care when entering a crosswalk by looking left and right for oncoming traffic. Pedestrians must take responsible safety measures.  The law states that pedestrians are not to suddenly step off the curb or a sidewalk and into the path of a vehicle. Even stepping into a crosswalk, it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to make sure that an approaching vehicle has enough distance to make a safe and complete stop. “In Urban areas such as ours where traffic- control signals are in operation, it is required that pedestrians cross ONLY in a marked crosswalk.

Use Common sense, drive and walk safely. Media Police Department.