Tampa Drivers Must Stop or Yield for Pedestrians

pedestrianDo you know where the crosswalks are? The Tampa Bay area consistently appears near the top of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. In Pinellas County alone, the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles was 44 in 2016 and 34 in 2017. This is a continuing problem in Tampa and many other cities in the Sunshine State.

Distractions are dangerous whether you are driving or walking. Negligent drivers who text and drive could miss a crosswalk completely. Pedestrians engrossed in their smart phones and unaware of surrounding traffic can also lead to tragedy. Knowing where the crosswalks are and how they work – as well as keeping your eyes on the road — are safety rules that are more important than ever.

Florida law states that drivers must stop or yield for pedestrians. As a driver in the Tampa Bay area, you probably already know that but do you know about the three different types of crosswalks you could encounter downtown?

The first thing you should know is that every pedestrian crossing marked with white lines is a crosswalk, and state laws apply to these just as much as other crossings that are more clearly marked.

At intersections with a stoplight and marked pedestrian crossings, drivers are required to stop and allow the pedestrians to cross — even if the driver is making a right turn. Drivers must stop at these signals before entering the marked crosswalk.

Some crosswalks are clearly marked with flashing lights that can be activated by pedestrians. Drivers are still required to stop for pedestrians at this type of crosswalk — even if the pedestrian did not activate the crossing signal.

Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for keeping the crossings safe. Drivers should stay focused on the road and watch for pedestrian traffic at crosswalks, including those where no lights are present. Pedestrians should utilize the crosswalks and the signals that alert drivers to their presence.

If you or someone you know has been injured while trying to cross the road, you should contact a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney. Wagner McLaughlin can help. As a Tampa personal injury law firm, Wagner McLaughlin is experienced in pedestrian injury cases and familiar with all laws regarding pedestrians and motor vehicles. Please contact us for further information.