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Florida Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety

Few motorists aware of Florida law to stop at crosswalks with signs
Crosswalk Sign

Florida law requires drivers to STOP when a person in attempting to cross the street at a marked pedestrian crosswalk. The pedestrian crosswalks are signified with a large yellow sign showing a figure walking. Some pedestrian crosswalks even have yellow flashing lights. Very few Florida drivers are aware of this law. Almost all tourists who visit our state are clueless of this law.

The pedestrian crosswalks in some circumstances are located in the middle of busy roads with little indication of their existence. The signs posted in pedestrian crosswalks tell drivers to YIELD. Many drivers are under the impression that yielding means you should only slow down. This thought is completely wrong under Florida law when a person is in a pedestrian crosswalk. This law requires drivers to stop and to allow the person to cross the road safely. The police are actively issuing warnings and writing civil citations to drivers who violate the pedestrian crosswalk STOP law.

This law is intended to have drivers stop when a person is entering the pedestrian crosswalk. If the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians then you are not required to stop. Paying close attention to a person as they are near or entering these crosswalks is important. If you are unsure of whether or not a person intends to cross the road you are better off slowing your vehicle until you can make a clear determination. This law is far from perfect but it was designed to save people from being hit by a car as they crossed the road.

Unfortunately, the lawmakers forgot to advise the Florida drivers and they installed confusing signs in the locations. Remember to stop when you see a pedestrian preparing to cross the road in a designated Florida pedestrian crosswalk or you may find yourself paying a hefty fine or facing a judge.

At a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection or a crosswalk that is marked mid-block, regulations mandate that:

1. Drivers must yield right-of-way to pedestrians where a sign indicates;

2. If a pedestrian is on half of the roadway and no traffic control signals are available, the driver must yield, slow down or stop to give right-of-way to the pedestrian;

3. Pedestrians may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety to walk or run into the path of a vehicle;

4. If a vehicle has stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway, a vehicle behind the stopped vehicle cannot pass the stopped vehicle; and

5. Pedestrians cannot cross an intersection diagonally except if there is a crossing authorized by traffic control devices.

*Portions from from

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