The Rules of the Road You Need to Know, Pedestrian Edition

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Attorney Tom Giannotti is here to talk about three rules that you need to know about pedestrians in Georgia.

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Tom Giannotti:

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►Hi, I’m Tom Giannotti, attorney with Butler Kahn Law Firm here with a series of videos called The Rules of the Road that You Need to Know. Today we’re starting with the pedestrian edition.
► So I’ve got three rules that you need to know about pedestrians in Georgia. Starting with rule number one, always stop and allow pedestrians to cross at crosswalks. So Georgia law says that drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Not just yield, but stop. That means it is illegal for a driver to cut around, squeeze by, or cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk. It is also illegal for one driver to overtake and pass another driver who is stopped at a crosswalk.
► Now, what is a crosswalk in Georgia law? Well, there are two types of crosswalks that Georgia law recognizes. One is a marked crosswalk, which is what it sounds like, and the other is an unmarked crosswalk. An unmarked crosswalk is a little hard to define. So I say again, if you’re ever in doubt, always yield to the pedestrians. This could save you a ticket and it could even save somebody’s life. So always yield to pedestrians whether or not they’re in a crosswalk. That brings us to rule number two.
► Now, I do want to mention something that I like to call the frogger exception. So it’s not really an exception, and that’s why we have these rules up here, but we’ve probably all seen these folks who will cross a multi-lane highway outside of a crosswalk, even stopping sometimes in between lanes and leaving drivers confused, is this person going to go? Are they waiting for me? In those situations, it’s always best to yield. Now again, yielding can mean slowing down and going around and giving the person plenty of room to safely cross. It can mean slowing until they cross. It can mean stopping, right? If the person is not in a crosswalk, you’re not necessarily required to come to a complete stop as you would be if the pedestrian is in a crosswalk, and that could be a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk. So I say if you’re able to stop, great.
► If you see one of these folks playing real life frogger on the highway, you don’t necessarily need to slam on your brakes and cause an accident, but do if it’s practical, possible at all, yield to that person, even if you think they’re insane and again, attempting a real life game of frogger.
► Now, Georgia law does make it illegal for a pedestrian to 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 impractical for that driver to stop. So you don’t want to be playing what is practical, having this debate after causing an accident. So again, always yield to pedestrians and always stop and allow pedestrians to cross crosswalks. Again, for drivers, this means you still have to yield if it’s practical, or you could still be found at fault if God forbid you cause an accident.

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