This is the first part of a three-part series on what pedestrians need to know to safely walk and run the streets of northeastern Pennsylvania. Not only should pedestrians know these laws, but perhaps, even more importantly, so should drivers. At Powell Law we’ve seen injuries incurred by the drivers and passengers of motor vehicles. But we’ve also seen countless injuries suffered by pedestrians. If you are a walker or runner, knowing the laws of Pennsylvania is essential to staying safe. For five generations, whenever drivers have caused injuries by their mistakes, the attorneys at Powell Law have helped injured pedestrians recover. We’ll start with the basic laws pertaining to pedestrians:
75 Pa. Con. S.A. § 3541: Obedience of pedestrians to traffic-control devices and regulations.
Pedestrians must both obey police authorized to direct traffic, as well as traffic and pedestrian control signals.
75 Pa. Con. S.A. § 3542: Right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks.
Vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Pedestrians may not suddenly leave the curb and enter a crosswalk into the path of a moving vehicle close enough that this action constitutes an immediate hazard. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at any crosswalk at an intersection or at any marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
75 Pa. Con. S.A. § 3543: Pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks.
The general rule is that every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk at an intersection or any marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. Vehicles have the right of way in any situation where there is a pedestrian overhead crossing bridge or underground tunnel available. Where traffic control devices are in operation, pedestrians in an urban district may only cross between two adjacent intersections in a marked crosswalk and may only cross an intersection diagonally if authorized by a traffic control device.
75 Pa. Con. S.A. § 3544: Pedestrians walking along or on highway.
Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practical, it is illegal for a pedestrian to walk along and upon the adjacent roadway. If a sidewalk is unavailable, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway may walk only on a shoulder as far as it is feasible from the edge of the roadway. Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practical to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, must walk only on the left side of the roadway. Also, with some exception, any pedestrian upon a roadway must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
If you walk or run in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area and have suffered injuries as a pedestrian, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.