Pedestrians are required by state statute to cross roadways at marked crosswalks and to only cross when the street traffic light facing their direction of travel is green. Pedestrians crossing roadways at areas that do not have marked crosswalks are required to give the right of way to vehicles traveling on the roadway. A pedestrian can be cited for Reckless Use Of The Highway By A Pedestrian 14-300c(d) for causing a hazard to vehicular traffic.
If a pedestrian is at the curb of or in a crosswalk, all vehicles must slow down or stop to allow him or her to reach either the opposite side of the street or a “safety zone.” If a pedestrian is not in a marked or unmarked crosswalk, then he or she must yield to all other traffic. The law places some restrictions on pedestrians using crosswalks. For example, they are required to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. Pedestrians who violate crosswalk laws are subject to a fine of $92. Drivers who violate the crosswalk law are subject to a fine set by the Superior Court judges of $181.
Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities in Crosswalks
A pedestrian generally has the right of way over all vehicles while at the curb of or in a crosswalk. This means that cars and other vehicle traffic (buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, etc.) must slow down or stop in front of a crosswalk when a pedestrian is using or is about to use a crosswalk. Vehicles must remain stopped until the pedestrian has fully crossed the street or has reached a “zone of safety.”
The statutes identify three basic types of crosswalks:
1) Crosswalks Controlled by “Walk” and “Don't Walk” Signals. While at a crosswalk controlled by a “walk” and “don't walk” sign, pedestrians have the right of way over all vehicles, including turning vehicles, as long as they comply with the signal. A pedestrian may begin to cross a street only when there is a “walk” signal. A pedestrian may not begin to cross the street if the “don't walk” signal is either blinking or solid. If a pedestrian begins to cross the street when the signal reads “walk” but the signal changes to “don't walk” while they are still crossing the street, they must continue to cross the street until they reach the other side or until they reach a “safety island” which could be a raised sidewalk dividing traffic lanes (CGS § 14-299 (b)(5)).
2) Crosswalks Controlled by Traffic Signals or Police Officers. Pedestrians using crosswalks controlled by traffic signals (such as traffic lights or stop signs) or by police officers may not cross against the traffic signal or direction of the officer. If a traffic light is green, then a pedestrian may cross and has the right of way over all vehicles, including turning vehicles, until they have reached the other side of the street.
3) Crosswalk Indicated by Devices, Lines, or Markings on the Surface of the Road. Pedestrians have the right of way over all vehicles, including turning vehicles, while in a crosswalk which is indicated by devices, markers, or lines on the surface of the road. Typically, these types of crosswalks are located near schools, churches, and in outdoor shopping districts. They allow pedestrians to cross a street in the middle of a block in addition to an intersection. All traffic must slow down or stop if a pedestrian has either: (1) stepped up to the curb of such a cross way, (2) has entered the half of the road in which the driver's vehicle is located, or (3) has entered the half of the road in which the driver's vehicle is not located (CGS § 14-300(c)). Furthermore, vehicles may not pass other vehicles which are stopped or paused at a crosswalk.
Pedestrians face some restrictions regardless of what type of crosswalk they enter. All pedestrians must yield to emergency vehicles which indicate either by flashing lights or by sound that they are operating in an emergency situation. A pedestrian must also stay within the boundaries of a crosswalk and may not cross an intersection diagonally. Whenever possible, a pedestrian must stay on the right hand side of a crosswalk.
Finally, a pedestrian must yield to vehicles where no crosswalk exists.
Be Safe. Be Smart.