You Asked For It: Is there a state law protecting pedestrians in marked crosswalks?

From time to time, readers ask us to help get important questions answered. Last month, a reader posed an important question regarding pedestrians — and what the state laws are mandating their protection in marked crosswalks.
The reader’s question and an answer from the state Department of Transportation are below. Do you have a question we can address in an upcoming issue of The Resident? Let us know by sending an email to [email protected]
“A recent article published in Resident Community News regarding redesign of San Marco Square quoted Doug Skiles “These same individuals do not seem to be aware of the state law that mandates stopping for pedestrians in marked crosswalks.”
In the interest of journalistic integrity can you ask Mr. Skiles to cite the statute to which he refers? I would like to use it in a safety meeting at my place of employment. Also, if the statutes do not support Mr. Skiles’ statement perhaps pedestrian safety in San Marco Square would be increased if a redesign were based upon statutes and not a belief.
On several occasions in the past I have attempted to find a Florida Statute that required cars to stop when pedestrians are in a crosswalk. I have heard that is law in other states.  I have found several Florida Statutes explaining that drivers are not allowed to hit pedestrians. However, I have not found one that would give a reasonable pedestrian confidence they would be safe if they stepped into a street in front of a moving car as long as they are in a designated crosswalk.
I have many times watched individuals step off a curb into traffic in a manner that suggested they did not need to be concerned because they have the right of way and drivers will stop their vehicles.”
The Resident sent the question to the state Department of Transportation for some clarification. The FDOT’s response was a copy of the state rules, noted below. The mandates specifically relating to the reader’s question is bold:
316.130 Pedestrians; traffic
regulations.—
(1) A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device specifically applicable to the pedestrian unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
(2) Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic control signals at intersections as provided in s.316.075, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and be subject to the restrictions stated in this chapter.
(3) Where sidewalks are provided, no pedestrian shall, unless required by other circumstances, walk along and upon the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic.
(4) Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway in relation to the pedestrian’s direction of travel, facing traffic, which may approach from the opposite direction.
(5) No person shall stand in the portion of a roadway paved for vehicular traffic for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle.
(6) No person shall stand on or in proximity to a street or highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway.
(7)(a) The driver of a vehicle at an intersection that has a traffic control signal in place shall stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian, with a permitted signal, to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) The driver of a vehicle at any crosswalk where signage so indicates shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross a roadway when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or steps into the crosswalk and is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(c)When traffic control signals are not in place or in operation and there is no signage indicating otherwise, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(8)No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(9)Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
(10)Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(11)Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(12)No pedestrian shall, except in a marked crosswalk, cross a roadway at any other place than by a route at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb.
(13)Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.
(14)No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices, and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
(15)Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.
(16)No pedestrian shall enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given. No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
(17)No pedestrian may jump or dive from a publicly owned bridge. Nothing in this provision requires the state or any political subdivision of the state to post signs notifying the public of this provision. The failure to post a sign may not be construed by any court to create liability on the part of the state or any of its political subdivisions for injuries sustained as a result of jumping or diving from a bridge in violation of this subsection.
(18)No pedestrian shall walk upon a limited access facility or a ramp connecting a limited access facility to any other street or highway; however, this subsection does not apply to maintenance personnel of any governmental subdivision.
(19)A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as either a pedestrian violation or, if the infraction resulted from the operation of a vehicle, as a moving violation.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; ss. 1, 8, ch. 76-31; s. 2, ch. 83-68; ss. 1, 2, ch. 83-74; s. 3, ch. 84-309; s. 306, ch. 95-148; s. 123, ch. 99-248; s. 2, ch. 2008-33.

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