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Pedestrian Laws and Rules for Walking

We are all pedestrians at one time or another, so it is vital to know the laws put in place to keep those commuting by foot safe. Read Utah laws for drivers and pedestrians to know what to do.

Driver Laws With Regard to Pedestrians

  • 12.76.050 – Whatever the situation, drivers must do all they can to avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
  • 12.76.045A – Drivers must yield to pedestrians within crosswalks by completely stopping. While the car is stopped at the crosswalk, the approaching vehicles from the rear must also stop.
  • 12.48.030 – When coming to a stop sign, drivers must stop before entering the crosswalk.
  • 12.48.050, 12.56.440 – Drivers should not obstruct pedestrians by positioning their cars in the crosswalk. 
  • 12.48.040 – Drivers must stop in front of the crosswalk and check for pedestrians. 
  • 12.48.100 – When approaching a school bus from the front or the rear with flashing lights, motorists must stop until the lights stop flashing.

Laws For Pedestrians

  • 12.76.010 – Pedestrians must use designated crosswalks, pedestrian tunnels, or overhead walkways to cross a roadway unless none are within a 700-foot distance. If there is no crosswalk, the pedestrian may take the shortest route to cross the street, using caution and yielding to all traffic.
  • 12.04.110, 12.04.235, 12.04.595 – Every intersection is a crosswalk even if there are no painted lines.
  • 12.32.055 – The walking person symbolizes WALK and allows the pedestrian to begin walking with caution. A raised hand, flashing or solid, indicates DON’T WALK or do not begin crossing. If the raised hand comes up while you are crossing, continue with care. The raised hand with a countdown timer shows how long you have to cross the roadway. You may begin to cross only if you can safely do so within the allotted time. 
  • 12.32.045(A) – At intersections with no pedestrian signals, pedestrians facing a green traffic signal may walk, excluding green arrows that allow vehicle traffic to turn. Pedestrians should not walk when facing a yellow or red traffic signal. 
  • 12.76.045(C)(2) – Even though pedestrians have the right-of-way, they should not create hazards.
  • 12.76.060 – Pedestrians should use sidewalks when possible. If there are no sidewalks, the pedestrian should walk on the left side of the road and face traffic. 
  • 12.44.220(B) – Pedestrians must yield to all emergency vehicles with sirens or red lights. They should exit crosswalks immediately and remain out of the roadway until they pass. 
  • 12.76.090, 14.20.100, 14.28.050 – Pedestrians should not obstruct other pedestrians.
  • 41-6-79.20 – Pedestrians cannot pass through or around any railroad gate while the gate is closed or being opened or closed.

pedestrian crosswalk light sign

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Never assume a driver sees you! Make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.
  • Watch for vehicles. Never step in front of a car. You may have the legal right-of-way but only cross when it is safe to do so.
  • Do not run or ride anything while in a crosswalk. However, try to get across the street as fast as possible.
  • If there is a pedestrian walk button, use it!
  • Wear reflective gear and bright colors if possible.