Ask a Deputy: Crosswalks Law
Want to know what the Virginia Code says about crosswalks? Submit your questions, too.
Got a question you've always wanted to ask someone in law enforcement? Trying asking a member of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office through Ask a Deputy. Readers submit questions and the LCSO responds. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit them below.
Here's the latest answer.
“I’m hoping for a clarification on the laws regarding crosswalks. Given how many close calls I’ve had since living in Loudoun, I’m getting the impression many people either forgot what they learned or never learned to begin with what the laws are regarding who has the right of way, pedestrian or vehicle, in any given situation.”
The most specific statute is 46.2-924, it reads:
A. the driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of–way to any pedestrian crossing such intersection:
- At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
- At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of the block;
- At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.
B. if a law enforcement officer or traffic control device is regulating the traffic movement, then the driver shall yield according to the law enforcement officer or traffic control device.
- No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.
- The drivers at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.
- Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.
The other important statute is 46.2-923, it reads: When crossing highways, pedestrians shall not carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. They shall cross, whenever possible, only at intersections or marked crosswalks. Where intersections contain no marked crosswalks, pedestrians shall not be guilty of negligence as a matter of law for crossing at any intersection or between intersections when crossing by the most direct route.
Two notable cases to consider:
- Schutt vs. Brockwell: A motorist or pedestrian has no right-of-way over the other except as provided by statute.
- Sprinkle v.Davis, Reams v Cone: contributory negligence is applicable when a pedestrian steps In the highway when his presence may be obscured and/or doesn’t look before stepping into the highway.