Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities —A Comprehensive Guide 

Life as a pedestrian can be frightening, with aggressive and inattentive cars making safe travel through congested places feel perilous at times. As a pedestrian, you have the right to enjoy safe and accessible walking places, whether you are walking to school, work, or just about your neighborhood. However, like with driving, you have certain obligations as a pedestrian that help keep everyone on the roads and sidewalks safe. Consult an expert law firm for more information. 

The rights of pedestrians 

As a pedestrian, you have the same right to use the road as everyone else, although in specified areas designated for pedestrian usage, such as sidewalks or crosswalks. If there are no sidewalks, you may walk on the road, but you must keep as close to the shoulder as possible unless you are on a highway, which pedestrians are not authorized to use. 

The right of way 

When we talk about a pedestrian’s “right of way,” we are talking about the legal right of a pedestrian, in this case, to walk ahead of others in a circumstance. When a pedestrian has “right of way” over a vehicle, it implies that if the automobile moves and hits the pedestrian, the vehicle is legally responsible for the incident. 

Pedestrians have the right of way when: 

  • At a crossing where the traffic lights allow people to walk. For example, when the crosswalk displays a person walking or the word “walk.”
  • On a sidewalk
  • At a crossing where there are no traffic lights. In many parking lots, for example, there will be crosswalks from the store to the lot. Cars must often stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, as indicated by signs. 
  • Furthermore, if a vehicle comes to a halt to enable a pedestrian to cross, the vehicle behind it may not overtake the stopped vehicle. 

The responsibilities of the pedestrians 

Pedestrians must follow traffic regulations since they share the road with automobiles and bikers. There are particular obligations that pedestrians must follow for their safety as well as the safety of other cars on the road. As a pedestrian, you must abide by these rules. If you do not, you may be held accountable if an accident occurs. 


  • When a traffic control device is installed at a crossing, you must respect its signals. You may continue crossing the street if the signal begins to flash while you are crossing.
  • When there is a marked crossing, you must utilize it.
  • When there is a sidewalk, you must utilize it.
  • You may not walk on the freeway unless there is an emergency or your vehicle has broken down. 
  • You must always give way to public safety vehicles (police cruisers, ambulances, and funeral procession vehicles).
  • You must yield to traffic when crossing the roadway if there is no crosswalk.
  • It is not permissible for you to solicit or hitch rides.