Pedestrian Laws Every Texan Needs to Know

If you live in, or visit, one of the many places in Texas that are popular for walking or bicycling, there are some important laws you need to know. Pedestrian laws are designed to help Texan’s stay safe on the roadway. Obeying traffic and pedestrian laws is the best way to prevent needless pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian Laws Every Texan Needs to Know

Title 7 Chapter 552 of Texas Transportation Code details pedestrian laws. Here is a summary of the basic information you need to know:

Traffic Control Signals: Unless directed by a law enforcement or other official, pedestrians should remember the following:

  • Pedestrians facing a green signal may cross a roadway within marked or unmarked crosswalks, unless the only green signal is a turn arrow.
  • Pedestrians facing a red signal or yellow signal may not cross a roadway.

Pedestrian Right-of-Way: Pedestrians should always obey traffic signals displaying “wait”, “walk”, or “don’t walk”, such as the following:

  • Wait – Pedestrians may not cross a roadway on a wait signal unless they are already crossing when it appears, then they should proceed to safety.
  • Walk – Pedestrians facing a walk signal should proceed across the roadway. Vehicles in traffic must yield right-of-way to pedestrians with this signal.
  • Don’t Walk – Pedestrians may not cross a roadway on a don’t walk signal. If they have partially crossed when this signal appears, they should proceed to safety.

Use of Crosswalks: Vehicles must yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks if:

  • There is no control signal present or in operation
  • The pedestrian is on the same side of the road as the vehicle
  • The pedestrian is approaching the same side of the road as the vehicle at a rate that is unsafe

Pedestrians may not suddenly leave a curb or roadside into the path of a vehicle in close proximity that the vehicle is unable to stop. Vehicle operators must be aware of their surroundings when pedestrians are present. Vehicle operators cannot pass other vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk.

Use of Sidewalks: If a sidewalk is accessible and available, a pedestrian may not walk on the roadway. If a sidewalk is not accessible or available, pedestrians must:

  • Walk on the left side of the roadway (facing oncoming traffic)
  • The shoulder of the roadway (facing oncoming traffic)

When there is a sidewalk accessible or available, vehicle operators must yield right-of-way to pedestrians.

Protecting Yourself

Texas drivers have a duty to exercise care when operating vehicles. Part of that duty is exercising care related to pedestrians, such as the following:

  • Exercising care to avoid collisions with pedestrians
  • Using car horn to give pedestrians a warning when necessary
  • Exercising proper observation and precautions when children or obviously incapacitated or confusing persons are on or near the roadway.

Unfortunately, even safe drivers and pedestrians are involved in auto accidents every day. After an accident, what is important is getting the help you need so you and your family can move forward.

To learn more about your rights as a pedestrian, or to get help filing a personal injury claim, contact Daic Law today. Call us at (713) 808-5246, or send us an email at info@daiclaw.com.

Sources

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TN/htm/TN.552.htm

http://www.txdot.gov/driver/share-road/pedestrians.html