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Florida Driver Handbook: Pedestrians

Study for your upcoming driver's license test or learner's permit exam with the Florida Driver Handbook.

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Florida Driver Handbook: Pedestrians

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Table of Contents

6. Sharing the Road

6.1.1 - Safety Rules for Motorist Regarding Pedestrians

It is the motorist's responsibility to do everything possible to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Bicyclists, skaters and skateboarders in a crosswalk or driveway are considered pedestrians.

  1. Turning motorists must stop for pedestrians at intersections and driveways.
  2. Motorists must stop or yield as appropriate for pedestrians crossing the street or driveway at any marked mid-block crossing, driveway or intersection without traffic signals.
  3. Drivers must not block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light. Do not stop with any portion of your vehicle overhanging the crosswalk area. Blocking a crosswalk forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle, and puts them in a dangerous situation.
  4. You must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians on the sidewalk when entering or leaving an alley, driveway, or private road.
  5. Do not make a turn that causes a pedestrian to stop, slow down or make some other special effort to avoid a collision.
  6. If children are in the vicinity, take special care, because children are not fully aware of the dangers of traffic.
  7. Be respectful of others who have difficulty in crossing streets, such as elderly persons or persons with a visual disability.

Be especially observant for children in or along the roadway and be aware of pedestrians sharing the road where sidewalks are not present.

When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

NOTE: When one driver stops to let a pedestrian cross, the stopped vehicles may screen the pedestrian from the view of an approaching driver, and also screen the approaching vehicle from the pedestrian's view. The law therefore requires a driver approaching a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk from the rear to assume that a pedestrian may be crossing, even when none can be seen at the moment. A violation of this rule can cause serious injury because the overtaking driver is traveling at speed. To reduce this risk, seasoned pedestrians pause to scan the next traffic lane before advancing beyond the outside edge of any "screen".

6.1.2 - Safety Rules for Pedestrians

  1. Look to the left, right, and left for traffic before stepping off any curb, and keep looking as you cross.
  2. Crosswalks at intersections may be marked or unmarked. Crossing is preferred at Intersections or designated crosswalks in the middle of a block. However, pedestrians may cross at other locations if not between adjacent signalized intersections but are required to yield to other traffic.
  3. Cross with the green light, "WALK" or "walking person" symbol. Make sure you have enough time to cross. Many locations in Florida have "count-down" pedestrian signals. These indicate the time remaining for the crossing.
  4. While walking along a highway without a sidewalk, always walk on the shoulder on the left side, facing traffic. Wear light colored and reflective clothing or use a flashlight to make you more visible to drivers at night.

6.1.3- Persons Who are Blind

The primary traveling aids for a person who is blind are often a white cane or a trained guide dog. Independent travel involves some risk that can be greatly reduced when you, the driver, are aware of the use and meaning of a white cane or guide dog.

Drivers must always yield the right-ofway to persons who are blind. When a pedestrian is crossing a street or highway guided by a dog or carrying a white cane (or a white cane with a red tip), vehicles must come to a complete stop.

6.1.4 - Persons Who are Mobility-Impaired

Drivers must yield the right-of-way to mobility-impaired persons and pedestrians utilizing the assistance of a guide dog or service animal.

Mobility impaired persons must use sidewalks; however, they may leave the sidewalk and use the roadway to avoid a potential conflict. Drivers should be on the lookout for pedestrians leaving the sidewalk.

When a pedestrian is crossing a public street or highway and the pedestrian is using a walker, a crutch, or an orthopedic lane or wheelchair, vehicles must come to a complete stop.