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Pedestrian Rights in Georgia

If you are wondering about the pedestrian rights in Georgia because you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, the Georgia legislature has created laws to protect you. In 1995, the law was amended to explicitly state that drivers are obligated to “stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians; replacing the previous aspect of the law which allowed drivers to simply yield to pedestrians. 

The law is much broader, and drivers are responsible for following the requirements in order to help keep pedestrians safe while crossing the roads in Georgia. The following explanation provides information on pedestrian rights for both pedestrians and drivers.  

§ 40-6-91. Right of Way in Crosswalks

The law requires that drivers stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk.  This applies when a pedestrian is within a crosswalk and crossing the half of the roadway upon which the driver’s vehicle is travelling. The law goes on to state that if a pedestrian is within one lane of the half of the road occupied by a vehicle, the driver must stop and remain stopped. Further clarification is provided to establish that “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel. While a pedestrian has the right of way while in a crosswalk, they are not permitted to suddenly leave a place of safety to dart into the path of oncoming traffic.  

The scope of the law is such that it prevents drivers from performing dangerous maneuvers, such as driving around or cutting off pedestrians, when they are using a crosswalk, and overtaking a stopped vehicle while pedestrians are attempting to cross at a marked or unmarked intersection. It doesn’t matter if the driver has ample space to get around–pedestrian rights still apply, and the driver may receive a ticket for violating the law. 

§ 40-6-92. Crossing Roadway Elsewhere that in Crosswalk 

Should a pedestrian need to cross a roadway where there is no crosswalk, Georgia law requires that they shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway. If the pedestrian is attempting to cross an adjacent intersection which utilizes traffic-control signals, the pedestrian must not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

§ 40-6-22. Pedestrian Control Signals

Word or symbol message signals allow pedestrians to cross roadways with the expectation of safety. When there is a word or symbol message that displays “WALK,” a pedestrian has the right to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal. If a pedestrian has already started to cross a roadway and the “DON’T WALK” signal begins to flash or turn steady, the pedestrian may complete their crossing. 

Understanding Pedestrian Rights

There are a number of other laws which may apply to pedestrian rights that are more relevant in your case. If you have further questions, it may help to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Georgia. Advice and representation from a legal expert who understands the laws that govern our roads and sidewalks may prove invaluable in fighting for compensation. 

H. Lehman Franklin and his team have the tools and knowledge you need to pursue a damages to cover any medical costs and loss of earnings you may have incurred as the result of an accident. Reach out to our offices today to schedule a free consultation or call our offices today at 912-764-9616, or email us at info@hlfranklin.com.