Jaywalking refers to illegally crossing a street. Pedestrians should cross at intersections and in marked areas whenever possible. Crossing outside of a crosswalk that is issuing a ‘go’ signal is also considered to be jaywalking in most states. The state of Pennsylvania, however, does not ban a pedestrian from committing the act of jaywalking, but does set in place a number of other rules and regulations for walkers.
A Pedestrian’s Duty
Pedestrians have a number of duties under Pennsylvania law. The duties of a pedestrian, according to Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Subchapter C include the following listed below.
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Exercise care (watch where you are going)
- Yield the right-of-way to vehicles if not crossing at a crosswalk
- Cross at a crosswalk when traffic control signals are in operation
- Use the sidewalk if it is available
- Yield to emergency vehicles
If a pedestrian fails to uphold any of the above duties, or effectively ‘jaywalks,’ s/he may receive a traffic citation. What’s more, if the pedestrian’s failure to adhere to Pennsylvania code leads to a road accident—even if the pedestrian is involved in the accident—then the pedestrian may be held liable or partially liable for damages.
Rights of Pedestrians
Statute 3542 of Pennsylvania Vehicle Code states that pedestrians in crosswalks where no traffic control devices are being used have the right of way. A blind pedestrian who is carrying a white cane or is accompanied by a guide dog, always has the right of way under Pennsylvania’s traffic laws. A driver who does not yield to a pedestrian in the situations listed above is guilty of committing an offense, and may receive a citation.
What if a driver hits me while I’m ‘jaywalking?’
The courts take into account the actions of both parties in a pedestrian crash. If you were jaywalking at the time of the accident, then you may be held liable for damages. If the driver who hit you was doing something negligent or illegal too, though, then the driver may be found partially or totally at-fault.
An attorney can help you to determine your percentage of fault, and whether or not filing a claim for damages is within your best interest. All claims for damages must be filed within two years’ time in Pennsylvania (Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5524). Take action immediately, especially if there were no witnesses to the pedestrian accident.
Let an Attorney Help You After a Pedestrian Accident in Pennsylvania
The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can investigate your accident to determine who was at fault for the pedestrian accident, and whether or not your rights as a pedestrian protect you from liability. Get help from our legal team today by calling 215-642-2335 now.