Virginia traffic laws include certain guidelines for pedestrians, including how to follow signals and lights, walk within crosswalks, and obey crossing guards. One of the key requirement for pedestrians who are walking against traffic is to always use the shoulder of the road.

Traffic Rules Applicability

There have been instances where pedestrians in Virginia fail to use the crosswalks, obey traffic controlled devices, yield the right of way, or follow a crossing guard signal. For these violations, a pedestrian may be summoned by the court if they actions compromise their own safety and/or the safety of others on the road.

Safety Rules for Pedestrians

Virginia traffic laws for pedestrians are put in place for public safety. Cyclists and motor vehicles assume that pedestrians would take appropriate actions that are consistent with general road safety rules and practices. Accidents may occur if the pedestrian does not follow traffic rules or fails to take steps that other people on the roadways normally follow.

Car drivers may presume that a pedestrian at a controlled intersection would not cross when the light is red. Pedestrians are expected to cross only when the signal says it is safe to cross. In the same way, if the motor vehicle is given a green light, the pedestrian should always assume that the car would go first.

The pedestrian should feel safe to cross the road only when the driver has stopped on a red light. Traffic signals are designed in such a way that they apply to both pedestrians and motor vehicles. The society as a whole remains a safe place when everyone using roadways follows traffic rules.

Pedestrians Have a Duty of Care

It is the duty of motor vehicles to yield the way to pedestrians on crosswalks, regardless of whether it is marked or not. However, the law also states that pedestrians are prohibited from maliciously or carelessly interfering with orderly passage of motor vehicles. The fact that a pedestrian is on the crosswalk does not preclude the requirement to remain responsible.

Pedestrians are responsible for paying due attention to signals and lights at a crosswalk. They need to obey the “Don’t Walk” or “Walk” warnings in intersections that are controlled by signals.

The law prohibits pedestrians from stepping into a highway that is open to moving traffic without an intersection where their presence is obscured from oncoming traffic. Pedestrians are not allowed to step on the highway between intersections when there is an obstruction at the side or curb.

However, this restriction does not apply to pedestrians stepping on the highway to enter a safety zone or board a bus. In such an event, the highway shall be crossed by the pedestrian only at right angles.

Pedestrians Need to Avoid Negligence

The law in Virginia assumes that all traffic safety rules will be followed by pedestrians for the purpose of keeping themselves and others safe. In the event of an accident, if the pedestrian was following rules, the person not following rules would be held accountable and liable for the damages caused by the accident.

However, there are instances when a pedestrian may be found negligent. This includes a pedestrian walking at an uncontrolled or unsafe intersection, or engaging in distracted walking, walking through traffic, and other risky actions of similar nature.