pedestrians' rights and duties
In vehicle collisions involving pedestrians, a vehicle driver’s liability may be significantly reduced or completely eliminated by the pedestrian’s conduct being in violation of state, federal or municipal laws. Pedestrian (including children darting out onto roadways) related laws are abstracted and summarized here to serve as a guide but not as a subject exhaustive treaty.
Obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable to him, unless otherwise directed by a police officer. 625 ILCS 5/11-1001.
Suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(b).
Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway when a pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003(a).
yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway when crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003(b).
Not to cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk if traffic-control signals are in operation between adjacent intersections. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003(c)
Not to cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003(d).
Move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks. 625 ILCS 5/11-1005.
Not to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable. 625 ILCS 5/11-1007(a).
Walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway, where a sidewalk is not available, while walking along and upon a highway. 625 ILCS 5/11-1007 (b)
Walk only on the left side of the roadway while walking along and upon a two-way roadway highway and as near as practicable to an outside edge of a roadway, and, if where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available. 625 ILCS 5/11-1007 (c)
Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway while walking upon a roadway. 625 ILCS 5/11-1007 (d)
Pedestrians with disabilities may cross a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk where the intersection is physically inaccessible to them, but must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003(e).
Every person operating a motorized wheelchair upon a sidewalk or roadway is subject to all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian. 625 ILCS 5/11-1004.1.
Every person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device upon a sidewalk or roadway is subject to all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian. 625 ILCS 5/11-1005.1.
Yield the right-of-way to the authorized emergency vehicle upon its immediate approach using audible and visual signals, or a police vehicle properly and lawfully using an audible signal only. 625 ILCS 5/11-1009.
Not walk or be upon a highway except on a sidewalk if a pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol or any drug to a degree which renders himself a hazard shall. 625 ILCS 5/11-1010.
Not to enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given. 625 ILCS 5/11-1011(a).
Not to pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed. 625 ILCS 5/11-1011(b).
Not to enter, remain upon or traverse over a railroad grade crossing or pedestrian walkway crossing a railroad track when an audible bell or clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device is giving warning of the presence, approach, passage, or departure of a railroad train or railroad track equipment.625 ILCS 5/11-1011(c).
The driver of a vehicle shall:
Stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a). This rule applies when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation.
Not overtake and pass a vehicle, which was stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(d). This rule applies to vehicles approaching from the rear the stopped vehicle.
Yield right-of-way to pedestrians whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(e).
Stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. 625 ILCS 5/11-1002.5. This rule applies to school zones when school children are present on a school day (beginning at seven ante meridian and concluding at four post meridian) and a potential hazard exists because of the close proximity of the motorized traffic and when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation.
Yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian with clearly visible disabilities. 625 ILCS 5/11-1004.
Yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk. 625 ILCS 5/11-1008.
Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human power and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person. 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1. This rule applies notwithstanding other provisions of the state Code or any local ordinance.
CHICAGO MUNICIPAL CODE - PEDESTRIANS
Pedestrians shall not cross:
Between intersections except where there may be a marked crosswalk. 9-60-010
A roadway other than in a crosswalk on any through street. 9-60-020.
The roadway of a limited-access street or highway other than by means of those facilities which have been constructed as pedestrian crossings or at those points where marked crosswalks have been provided. 9-60-030 (a).
A roadway where a public pedestrian tunnel or bridge has been provided other than by way of the tunnel or bridge within a section designated by the erection of appropriate signs or fencing. 9-60-030 (b).
Pedestrians shall not:
Pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed. 9-60-040 (a).
Enter or remain upon any bridge or approach thereto beyond the bridge signal, gate or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given. 9-60-040 (b).
Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. 9-60-050 (a).
Cross a roadway at any place other than by a route at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb except in a marked crosswalk 9-60-060 (a).
Suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. 9-60-060 (b).
Stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride from the driver of any private vehicle. 9-60-090.
Carry or use on the public streets of the city any cane or walking stick which is white in color, or white with a red end on the bottom, except persons wholly or partially blind 9-60-110.
Move whenever practicable upon the right side of crosswalks. 9-60-070.
Walk along and upon an adjacent roadway where sidewalks are provided. 9-60-080 (a).
Walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic that may approach from the opposite direction where sidewalks are not provided for pedestrians walking along and upon a roadway. 9-60-080 (b).
Be subject to traffic-control signals. 9-60-100.
Pedestrians have the duty to exercise due care. 9-60-120.
This guide should help all drivers and pedestrians to avoid vehicle-pedestrian collisions and also allocate the involved parties’ liabilities for personal injury claims’ adjudication and sustained injuries’ causation.
Solicitors shall be:
1. registered with the Attorney General as a charitable organization as provided by "An Act to regulate solicitation
and collection of funds for charitable purposes, providing for violations thereof, and making an appropriation
therefor", approved July 26, 1963, as amended;
2. engaged in a Statewide fund raising activity; and
3. liable for any injuries to any person or property during the solicitation which is causally related to an act of ordinary
negligence of the soliciting agent.
Any person engaged in the act of solicitation shall be 16 years of age or more and shall be wearing a high visibility
(d) No person shall stand on or in the proximity of a highway for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of
any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a highway.
(e) Every person who is convicted of a violation of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(e) In municipalities with a population of under 2,000,000 inhabitants, upon highways where the maximum posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less, and during the period from sunrise to sunset, a pedestrian who is 18 years of age or older and wearing in-line speed skates may travel upon the roadway as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway. Pedestrians wearing in-line speed skates upon a roadway may not impede or obstruct other vehicular traffic. Pedestrians wearing in-line speed skates shall be subject to all other rights and duties under this Article X. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to prevent a pedestrian wearing in-line speed skates from using a lane designated for bicycles. 625 ILCS 5/11-1007
32 CFR § 636.26. Pedestrian's rights and duties.
(a) Pedestrians will obey all traffic control devices and regulations, unless directed to do otherwise by the Military Police.
(b) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle will yield the right of way, by slowing down or stopping, when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk on the same side of the road as the driver's vehicle, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(c) Pedestrians will not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close to the crosswalk that it is impractical for the driver to stop.
(d) Pedestrians crossing a roadway, at a point other than a crosswalk, will yield the right-of-way.
(e) Pedestrians will not cross any intersection diagonally unless clearly authorized to do so.
(f) Every driver will exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and will exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.
(g) A person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug to a degree which renders himself a hazard will not walk upon any roadway.
(h) Pedestrians will use sidewalks, where provided, rather than walking upon the roadway. When sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians will walk the shoulder of the roadway as far from the edge of the roadway as possible. When neither sidewalks nor a shoulder are available, pedestrians will walk on the extreme edge of the roadway, facing traffic, and will yield to all oncoming traffic.
(i) Individuals will not stand in or beside the roadway to solicit rides (hitch-hike).
(j) Individuals will not stand in or beside the roadway to solicit business, employment, or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle.
(k) Pedestrians will yield to all authorized emergency vehicles using an audible signal and/or a visual signal.
(l) The wearing of headphones or earphones by pedestrians or joggers while walking or jogging on roadways or on the shoulders of roadways is prohibited.
NO warning signs were posted in the car parking alley
NO warning signs were posted on Gregory lane in the vicinity of the place of accident
NO speed limit signs were posted on Gregory lane in the vicinity of the place of the accident
NO pedestrian cross-walks in the car parking alley
NO pedestrian sidewalks in the car parking alley
NO stop signs at the parking car alley
CHICAGO MUNICIPAL CODE - PEDESTRIANS
9-60-010 Crosswalks authorized – Crossing between intersections prohibited when.
9-60-020 Through streets.
9-60-030 Limited access streets and highways – Public pedestrian tunnels and bridges.
9-60-040 Railroad grade crossings and bridges.
9-60-050 Pedestrian to yield right-of-way when.
9-60-060 Pedestrian crossing.
9-60-070 Use of crosswalk.
9-60-080 Walking along roadways.
9-60-090 Soliciting rides prohibited.
9-60-100 Traffic-control signals.
9-60-110 Imitation of blind persons prohibited.
9-60-120 Pedestrians to exercise due care.
625 ILCS 5/1-113. Crosswalk.
(a) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway, and in the absence of a sidewalk on one side of the highway, that part of the highway included within the extension of the lateral line of the existing sidewalk to the side of the highway without the sidewalk, with such extension forming a right angle to the centerline of the highway;
(b) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface placed in accordance with the provisions in the Manual adopted by the Department of Transportation as authorized in Section 11-301.
Uniform Vehicle Code
The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances is a private, non-profit membership organization dedicated to providing uniform traffic laws and regulations through the timely dissemination of information and model legislation on traffic safety issues. The Committee produces a variety of publications related to traffic laws and ordinances. The primary document produced by the Committee is the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC).
Most states have adopted, in whole or part, the UVC as the basis for legislation and regulation related to the operation of motor vehicles on public roadways. The excerpts from the UVC presented below illustrate the basic traffic laws that govern the interactions between pedestrians and motor vehicles. Where applicable, these laws provide the starting point upon which upgrades and improvements are based. Wherever the existing environment does not provide for the safe movement of pedestrians under these rules, additional engineering, education, and enforcement improvements may be necessary.
Pedestrians at Street Crossings
Several sections of the UVC address the relationship between vehicles and pedestrians. These rules primarily focus on right of way assignment at street crossings where pedestrians are legally allowed to cross the street. Driver education and licensing exams are potential methods for educating drivers about these rules and their responsibilities with regard to pedestrians. Drivers should not assume that all pedestrians know all of the rules below, and every effort should be made to educate the walking public about the appropriate laws.
UVC § 11- 502(a) Pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks
When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
UVC § 11-1112 Stop when traffic obstructed
No driver shall enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk or drive onto any railroad grade crossing unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection, crosswalk or railroad grade crossing to accommodate the vehicle such driver is operating without obstructing the passage of other vehicles, pedestrians or railroad trains notwithstanding any traffic-control signal indication to proceed.
UVC § 11- 501(a) Pedestrian obedience to traffic-control devices and traffic regulations
A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device specifically applicable to such pedestrian, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
UVC § 11- 503(a) Crossing at other than crosswalks
Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
UVC § 11- 503(b) Crossing at other than crosswalks [Tunnel or bridge available]
Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
UVC § 11- 503(c) Crossing at other than crosswalks [Crossing between adjacent intersections]
Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
Pedestrians at Transit Stops
The rules outlined in this section dictate driver behavior at transit stops where a transit vehicle is loading and unloading passengers. Under these circumstances pedestrians are expected, and drivers are required to stop or slow to provide more pedestrian-friendly conditions. Pedestrians should still be aware of their environment and should recognize that the transit service is operating in mixed traffic.
UVC § 11-1403 Passing streetcar on right
The driver of a vehicle overtaking upon the right any streetcar stopped or about to stop for the purpose of receiving or discharging any passenger shall stop at least five feet to the rear of the nearest running board or door of such streetcar and remain standing until all passengers have boarded or upon alighting have reached a place of safety, except that where a safety zone has been established, a vehicle need not be brought to a stop before passing any such streetcar but may proceed past such car at a speed not greater than is reasonable and proper and with due caution for the safety of pedestrians.
UVC § 11-1402 (b) Passing streetcar on left
The driver of any vehicle when permitted to overtake and pass upon the left of a streetcar which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any passenger shall reduce speed and may proceed only upon exercising due caution for pedestrians and shall accord pedestrians the right of way when required by other sections of this chapter.
Pedestrians Near At-Grade Railroad Crossings
The following rules dictate that for safety reasons, everyone (including drivers and pedestrians) must obey warning signs at at-grade railroad crossings.
UVC § 11-701(b) Obedience to signal indicating approach of train
No person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
UVC § 11- 513(b) Bridge and railroad signals [Railroad barrier opening/closing]
No pedestrian shall pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
2. Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed as a Federal law in 1990 and has been updated continually. The ADA is designed to ensure that public facilities are accessible for all people, regardless of physical characteristics and capabilities.
The United States Access Board is the agency responsible for developing and maintaining design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology. It also provides technical assistance and training on these requirements and on accessible design that may be useful to transit agencies implementing ADA compatible designs. The Access Board’s website provides a wide range of reference materials, resources and helpful links.
As previously discussed in this guide, the ADAAG describes requirements and design guidelines for all types of public facilities, including transportation stops, vehicles and rights-of-way. Chapter 10 of the ADAAG is devoted to transportation facilities. The ADAAG is a minimum design standard for compliance and should be used with discretion. Where additional accommodations are necessary or desirable, the final design should exceed the ADAAG’s design standards.
The full text of the ADAAG can be found online at: http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm.
B. Legal Cases
Past rulings from legal cases can also impact the required level of safety and accessibility that must be provided by a transit agency. These precedents are established in each state individually, although state courts can use out-of-state rulings as background when making decisions. It is important for transit agencies to be familiar with the cases presented below and additional similar cases in their own states.
One of the major legal areas of concern in the complex environment of pedestrian safety is liability. Every organization, government and agency is concerned with avoiding lawsuits and claims against them. Liability for injuries sustained while accessing transit has been assigned to various types of agencies and governments in the past, including transit agencies. The following are some recent legal cases that address transit agency liability for safety of pedestrians while accessing transit. Improvements to pedestrian safety through the types of coordinated efforts detailed in this guide have the potential to decrease the risk of judgements against transit agencies during litigation.
On the morning of November 16, 1993, Darlene Bonanno was hit by a car and seriously injured while attempting to cross Pacheco Boulevard—an unsignalized intersection with a painted crosswalk—to get to a CCCTA bus stop. The CCCTA had received numerous complaints about the safety of this bus stop starting in the early 1980s. Among other agencies, Bonanno sued the CCCTA claiming the location of the bus stop constituted a “dangerous condition.” In April 2003, the California Supreme Court affirmed the decision that the CCCTA was partially liable for the accident because:
The property was in a dangerous condition at the time of the injury.
The injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition.
The dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred.
The public entity had actual and constructive notice of the dangerous condition a sufficient time prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition. (Government Code section 835).
The CCCTA unsuccessfully argued that the intersection—controlled by the County—and not the bus stop, was the dangerous condition proximately causing the injury. However, the California Supreme Court relied on established law recognizing “that hazards present on adjoining property may create a dangerous condition of public property when users of the public property are necessarily exposed to those risks.” (California Supreme Court, Bonanno v. CCCTA, 9). Although the CCCTA did not control the intersection, it did control the bus stop and was aware of the dangerous intersection its patrons were required to cross to reach the stop. Furthermore, CCCTA could have relocated or removed the bus stop without facing an undue burden. Although CCCTA was found to be only one percent liable in the accident, they were ordered to pay the plaintiff $1.6 million. This ruling suggests that transit agencies should broaden their consideration of safe pedestrian access to include ingress and egress routes to transit facilities across adjacent property. Transit agencies should also work with the agencies that own and operate the roadways in their jurisdiction to avoid dangerous access conditions around transit stops.
2. Transit Agency Liability for Pedestrian Safety During Transfers
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)76
In February 2006, Tenisha Walker was struck by a car while crossing an intersection to transfer between a SEPTA trolley and a SEPTA bus parked across the street. Since the accident was a hit-and-run and Walker lacked insurance, she filed a claim with the state insurance fund, Assigned Claims Plan, which in turn sought compensation from the transit agency. A Pennsylvania court ruled that transit agencies could be held liable for damages resulting from a passenger being hit by a car while transferring between transit vehicles. Under Pennsylvania law, a person standing or walking outside of a vehicle can still qualify as a vehicle occupant if there is a connection between the injury sustained and the use of the vehicle. The trial court ruled that “the transit carrier for both the vehicle from which the passenger disembarked and the vehicle to which she was intending to transfer were the same.” Therefore, Walker was eligible to recover damages from SEPTA because she remained a SEPTA passenger throughout the duration of her transfer. Defining transferring customers as vehicle “occupants” is an important holding because it means that Pennsylvania transit agencies can be sued as common carriers when transferring riders sustain injuries. This case supports a national trend that safe pedestrian access is the responsibility of the transit agency even when a patron is not on a vehicle or even property owned by the agency. When locating stops, planners and engineers should account for the movements of all passengers accessing a vehicle, especially those transferring between vehicles, to provide for their safety.
3. Transit Agency Liability for Pedestrian Safety at Drop-off Locations
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)77
On the morning of December 14, 1995, Cynthia Wiggins was struck by a dump truck as she attempted to cross a busy highway after alighting a NFTA bus; she died of her injuries 19 days later. At the time of the accident, Wiggins was on her way to work at the Walden Galleria Mall in suburban Erie County, a 50-minute bus ride from her home in inner-city Buffalo, New York. Since Pyramid Companies, the mall owner, did not allow buses serving inner-city Buffalo to stop in the mall’s parking lot, Wiggins got off at the closest bus stop, which was 300 yards away from the mall and across a seven-lane highway with no sidewalk. It was while weaving through parked cars at an intersection on this highway that Wiggins was hit when the light turned green before she was safely across. The Wiggins family sought $150 million in damages from multiple defendants, including NFTA. The lawsuit claimed that NFTA was negligent in dropping off a rider at a location without appropriate pedestrian access, which NFTA knew or should have known made the bus stop dangerous. Instead, the transit agency should have dropped off riders on mall property or at least near a crosswalk. NFTA argued that it fulfilled its obligation to Wiggins by delivering her safely to her destination. Furthermore, the transit agency had attempted to establish a bus stop on mall property, but the mall owners refused to allow it. The lawsuit was settled for $2.55 million, with NFTA responsible for $300,000 of the damages. Although this case ended without a court ruling and no admission of wrongdoing, it suggests that transit agencies face liability risks when they drop passengers off at bus stops in proximity to dangerous pedestrian conditions and should work with local landowners and developers to provide the safest access possible.
Overall, case law indicates that transit agencies bear some responsibility in ensuring that their passengers can access stops and stations safely, even on property that the agency does not own. This means that transit agencies should locate bus stops where pedestrian access facilities are safe and adequate. Even in situations where the roadway, crossing facilities, and pathways are not under the direct control of the transit provider, the agency should work with other involved transportation agencies to provide the necessary facilities or relocate the bus stop to a more suitable location. A coordinated effort by transit agencies and owners and operators of related transportation facilities will result in the provision of safe facilities for pedestrians. In addition to the benefit of reduced liability for the transit agency, improved safety can translate to a more appealing transportation option and ultimately lead to increased ridership.
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