Rules of the Road for Pedestrians in Georgia

Rules of the Road for Pedestrians in Georgia

Pedestrians share the road with cyclists and drivers, and they share the responsibility of keeping the road safe. As a pedestrian, you must also adhere to certain laws and can face legal consequences for violating the traffic laws.

Understanding the rules of the road is also important as it relates to minimizing your liability in the event of an accident. Georgia is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that a plaintiff cannot recover compensation if they are 50% or more at fault for the accident (O.C.G.A. § 51-11-7).

Georgia Crosswalk Laws

Under O.C.G.A. § 40-1-1 (10), a crosswalk is defined as:

  • The part of the road at an intersection within the marked horizontal lines
  • Any part of the road at an intersection (or elsewhere) that is for pedestrian crossing, indicated by lines or other markings.

Is It Illegal to Jaywalk in Georgia?

Jaywalking occurs when a person walks outside of a crosswalk. While you are allowed to cross the street when there is not an available crosswalk, it is illegal for pedestrians to cross diagonally at an intersection or ignore crosswalks.

Yielding the Right of Way

Drivers should yield the right of way to pedestrians when they are crossing using a crosswalk. However, pedestrians should also exercise due care when crossing and/or leaving the curb in an unmarked crossing area.

When crossing the street, pedestrians are not allowed to leave the curb, sidewalk, or other places of safety abruptly. They should also avoid walking, running into, and interrupting the path of a vehicle so closely that a driver is unable to yield or stop (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91). Pedestrians should also yield the right of way to vehicles when they are crossing the street at any point that is not a marked crosswalk or unmarked intersection. As a pedestrian, you also must yield the right of way:

  • While walking on public roadways
  • If there is an active emergency vehicle using its lights, sirens, or both

Walking Under the Influence

It is not just illegal for drivers to be on the roadways under the influence; pedestrians can also face serious charges for being drunk. If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are considered a hazard, you cannot walk or be on the roadway or shoulders. Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-95, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and charged up to $500 if you are a pedestrian under the influence.

Using the Sidewalk

You cannot stand or walk on or along the edge of the road if there is a sidewalk available. If there are no cars on the road and/or the sidewalk is unsafe, an exception to this rule can be made. In cases where a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk as far away from traffic as possible (i.e. in the shoulder or on the edge of traffic).

Traffic Control Signals

Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-90, pedestrians must obey traffic control signals and traffic regulations. Unless otherwise directed by a police or traffic control officer, pedestrians are subject to traffic and pedestrian control signals outlined in O.C.G.A § 40-6-22.

Need Legal Help? Contact Us Today!

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident and decide to seek compensation, your actions will be brought into question and examined. You may be held partially liable for an accident if you acted negligently by:

  • Ignoring traffic signals or road signs
  • Walking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Running into the road unexpectedly
  • Walking while texting or talking on your phone

At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, our clients benefit from our 40+ years of combined legal experience, attentiveness, and impressive case results. If you are involved or have been injured in a pedestrian accident, our attorneys can work with you to develop a case strategy to mitigate your liability and maximize your compensation.

To schedule a free case evaluation, call us at (866) 580-3089 or complete our online form.