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Pedestrian Laws



We are all a pedestrian at one time or another, so it is important to know the laws that have been put in place to keep those who are commuting on foot safe. Unfortunately, these accidents happen with tragic frequency. Read below to know the laws and tips for pedestrians to stay safe. Utah code provides the following laws for drivers and 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 a pedestrian is in the vehicle’s lane or adjoining lane. While the car is stopped at the crosswalk, the approaching vehicles from the rear must also stop to make sure that no pedestrians are in their lane or in their adjoining lane. 12.48.030 – When coming to a stop sign, drivers must stop before entering into the crosswalk. 12.48.050, 12.56.440 – Drivers should not obstruct the passage of pedestrians by positioning their car in the crosswalk. (A sign to help drivers know where to stop: “STOP HERE ON RED”). 12.48.040 – Drivers must stop in front of the crosswalk before entering into it to check for pedestrians. 12.48.100 – When approaching a school bus from the front or the rear and the school bus’s lights are flashing, motorists are required to stop until lights on the school bus stop flashing. For more information on school bus safety, click here for more information on school bus safety.


12.76.010 – Pedestrians are only allowed to use designated crosswalks, pedestrian tunnels, or overhead walkways to cross a roadway unless there is not any of those within a 700 foot distance. In this case, 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 – Crosswalks are located at all intersections even if there are no marking lines. 12.32.055 – In regards to the signal for pedestrians, the walking person symbolizes WALK and allows the pedestrian to begin to walking with caution. A raised hand, flashing or solid, symbolizes DON’T WALK or do not begin crossing the roadway. If the raised hand comes up while you are crossing, continue crossing but be aware of your surroundings. The raised hand with a countdown timer symbolizes 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 that do not have pedestrian signals, the pedestrian facing a green traffic signal may walk, excluding green arrows that signifies that traffic may be within the pedestrians desired pathway. Pedestrians should not walk when facing a yellow or red traffic signal indication. 12.76.045(C)(2) – Even though pedestrians have the right-of-way, they should not suddenly begin to cross in front of a vehicle that is close enough to create an immediate hazard. 12.76.060 – Pedestrians should utilize provided sidewalks along roadways. If sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian wishing to walk along the roadway should do so in the shoulder and walk on the left side facing traffic. 12.44.220(B) – Pedestrians are required to yield to all emergency vehicles with sirens or red lights and 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 or prevent the use of a crosswalks or sidewalks from other pedestrians. 41-6-79.20 – Pedestrians are not allowed to pass through, around, under or over any railroad gate while the gate is closed or being opened or closed.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Never assume a driver sees you! Make eye contact with the driver before crossing the street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles and never step in front of vehicle that may not have time to stop for you. You may have the legal right-of-way but still use caution and 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!
  • Always try to wear reflective gear if possible when using crosswalks.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, call Christensen & Hymas at (801)506-0800 to get the help that you need. Read our “Pedestrian Accidents” article for further reading.

Image “The Scourge of pedestrian ‘Walk’ buttons” copyright by VeloBusDriver.

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