Monday, June 1, 2015

What are the Laws Pedestrians Must Follow on Nevada Roadways?

According to official Nevada records, 69 pedestrians died on our roadways last year. See, for more information on fatalities and injuries on our roads. 

The rules governing pedestrians on our roadways, is codified in Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) 484B, entitled “Rules of the Road”.  Two relevant sections of NRS 484B are set forth here:

  NRS 484B.280 Duties of driver of motor vehicle to pedestrian; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian.
      1. A driver of a motor vehicle shall:
      (a) Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian;
      (b) Give an audible warning with the horn of the vehicle if appropriate and when necessary to avoid such a collision; and
      (c) Exercise proper caution upon observing a pedestrian:
             (1) On or near a highway, street or road;
             (2) At or near a bus stop or bench, shelter or transit stop for passengers of public mass transportation or in the act of boarding a bus or other public transportation vehicle; or
             (3) In or near a school crossing zone marked in accordance with NRS 484B.363 or a marked or unmarked crosswalk. ….

      NRS 484B.283 Right-of-way in crosswalk; impeding ability of driver to yield prohibited; overtaking vehicle at crosswalk; obedience to signals and other devices for control of traffic; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with pedestrian.
      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 484B.287, 484B.290 and 484B.350:
      (a) When official traffic-control devices 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 so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the highway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the highway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the highway as to be in danger.
      (b) A pedestrian shall not 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.
      (c) Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle until the driver has determined that the vehicle being overtaken was not stopped for the purpose of permitting a pedestrian to cross the highway.

What Should Drivers Know?
    •    Crosswalks exist at any intersection, whether there are marked or not.
    •    Drivers have to yield to all pedestrians in crosswalks. So, this means, if there is an intersection, with a marked crosswalk or not, drivers must yield to the pedestrians.
    •    Drivers must stop or slow down before passing another vehicle, which stopped in a travel lane, until the driver has determined whether that car has stopped for a pedestrian.
    •    All drivers must, in the presence of a school crossing guard, wait for all persons including the guard, to completely clear the road before proceeding.
    •    Have to yield at all times to a blind person using a white cane or service animal.
What are Pedestrians’ responsibilities?
    •    Pedestrians have to use the sidewalk and the nearest crosswalk or pedestrian bridge.
    •    They must obey official traffic-control devices.
    •    It is their duty to stay in the right-hand half of the crosswalk, whenever practical.
    •    If no sidewalk is available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
    •    Crossing an intersection diagonally is not allowed, unless the intersection is specifically designed for this.
    •    Pedestrians must not suddenly walk into the path of an oncoming car, making it impossible for the car to stop.

Next time, we will discuss drivers’ duties to bicycle riders and laws bicyclists must follow on our roadways in Southern Nevada