Traffic Laws for Pedestrians in Virginia

Traffic laws for pedestrians in Virginia may include requirements that pedestrians walk within crosswalks, follow lights and signals including hand signals and countdown numbers, and obey crossing guards were posted. Another requirement is that pedestrians walking against traffic must use the shoulder of the roadway. If you find yourself facing traffic charges, contact a distinguished pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you protect your rights.

Application of Traffic Laws

It is rare for a pedestrian to be cited for violating a traffic law such as speeding. However, there are instances in which pedestrians violate other traffic rules like failing to yield the right of way, failing to cross at a crosswalk, failing to obey a traffic-controlled device, or failing to follow a crossing guard signal. These are examples in which someone may be issued court summons for not following traffic laws for pedestrians in Virginia.

Following the Law

Traffic laws for pedestrians in Virginiaexist for public safety. Motor vehicles and cyclists assume pedestrians will take certain actions consistent with signals and general safety rules. If a pedestrian fails to do so, accidents may occur because the pedestrian did not follow directions that people assume members of society are going to follow.

If a pedestrian is at a controlled intersection and has a red light, a driver may assume that they will not cross the road. When a pedestrian has a signal allowing them to cross, they can safely cross. A driver of a motor vehicle may assume that the pedestrian will cross at the controlled intersection and vice versa.

If the motor vehicle has a green light, the pedestrian should assume the vehicle is safe to go. If the driver has the red light, the pedestrian should feel safe that that motor vehicle is going to stop. Traffic signals apply to motor vehicles and pedestrians. Following traffic laws for pedestrians in Virginia ensure a safe society.

Likelihood of Pedestrian Responsibility

Pedestrians are assumed to follow traffic safety rules to keep themselves safe and to keep other occupants of the road safe. When there is an accident and the pedestrian was following the rules, the person who did not follow the rules is found liable and is responsible for damages caused by their negligence.

There are instances in which a pedestrian may be negligent. This can include a pedestrian walking at an unsafe and uncontrolled intersection, walking through traffic, distracted walking, and things of that nature. Partial negligence means the individual contributed to their own injury and up to one percent or more. This means they are found contributorily negligent and are barred from making a recovery.

Impact of the Contributory Negligence Doctrine

A pedestrian being slightly negligent or contributing to their own demise is significant. Virginia, unlike the majority of states, follows the contributory negligence doctrine. When a person contributes to their own accident, they are barred from recovery. In other states, if a pedestrian was 10 percent responsible, they could still make a 90 percent recovery. That is not the rule when considering traffic laws for pedestrians in Virginia. If a person is one percent responsible, they can be legally barred from making a recovery, even if the other person was 99 percent at fault.