Georgia Pedestrian Laws

Georgia pedestrian laws protect walkers from collisions with motor vehicles. They apply to the proper use of sidewalks, right of way in crosswalks, and even affect how drivers must behave to keep pedestrians safe.

Sidewalk Use & What to Do When There Is No Sidewalk

Under Georgia law, pedestrians should remain on sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk or the sidewalk is hazardous due to debris or poor maintenance, you can run or walk on the shoulder of the road.

On roads without a sidewalk or shoulder, Georgia law requires pedestrians walk as close to the outside edge of the roadway as possible. Further, pedestrians should run or walk against traffic so that they can see approaching vehicles.

Pedestrians must yield the right of way to cars when walking on the road. At the same time, Georgia drivers are tasked with exercising due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians, cyclists, and others who may be sharing the road. In this way, pedestrians and drivers work together to avoid accidents.

Georgia’s Crosswalk Laws

If you must cross the street, wait until you come to an intersection or crosswalk. This is where drivers expect to see pedestrians; they do not expect drivers to try to cross the street in the middle of the road.

Many intersections have signals for pedestrians indicating when it is safe to cross the street. If there are no pedestrian signals, pedestrians should use the traffic signals to determine when they have the right of way to cross.

Cars legally must stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Georgia no longer simply requires drivers yield to pedestrians. The law now requires drivers stop for pedestrians and stay stopped. Below are some specific requirements that drivers must follow regarding pedestrians in crosswalks:

  • Stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk on their side of the road
  • Stop when a pedestrian is on their side of the road and approaching a crosswalk
  • Yield to pedestrians before turning right or left, even at green lights
  • Stay stopped until the pedestrian has crossed
  • Other drivers may not pass a vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street in a crosswalk
  • Drivers may not block a crosswalk

Most of these rules work to limit bad driving behaviors that put pedestrians at risk. This includes rushing pedestrians across a street by beginning to turn while they are still in the crosswalk or pulling through the crosswalk while the pedestrian is still on the driver’s side of the road.

Is jaywalking illegal in Georgia?

No. Georgia only states that pedestrians crossing the street outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk must yield to traffic. Further, pedestrians must yield to traffic if crossing the street where a pedestrian tunnel or bridge is available.

At the Law Offices of John Morrison, we represent Gwinnett County pedestrians who suffer injuries in accidents with motor vehicles. If you were the victim of this type of accident, we can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at 770-951-8900 to learn more.