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What Are The Jaywalking Laws In GA?

By Butler Prather LLP on July 22, 2020

Pedestrian safety is incredibly important, particularly when people will be on foot around vehicle traffic. The state of Georgia has passed several laws to promote pedestrian safety. In general, vehicle drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians in or around the roadway. However, pedestrians also have laws that they need to follow. Please note that you will not find the term “jaywalking” anywhere in the Georgia code of laws. You may hear people refer to jaywalking to describe a person crossing the street outside of a legal crosswalk, but this type of activity is not necessarily illegal.

GA jaywalking laws

What do Georgia laws say about jaywalking?

As we mentioned above, the term jaywalking is not found in Georgia laws. However, Georgia laws do focus on crosswalks and pedestrian safety. Most of the laws regarding pedestrian safety surround how drivers are supposed to respond to pedestrians around or in the roadway.

Right of way in crosswalks

Georgia law requires that drivers stop and remain stopped to allow pedestrians to cross a roadway within a crosswalk. Drivers are not allowed to attempt to drive around or cut off of the pedestrian within the crosswalk, even if there is room to do so. When a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the drivers of any vehicle approaching from the rear are required to stop as well. They are not allowed to overtake or pass the already stopped vehicle.

That being said, the law does say that pedestrians shall not leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is already so close it would be impractical for them to yield.

Crossing roadway at areas other than crosswalks

As most people are aware, there are not always crosswalks available for pedestrians in Georgia. This is where pedestrians do have some responsibility for safety on the roadway and where traditional jaywalking issues may arise.

Any pedestrian who is crossing the road at an area other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk must yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway unless they (the pedestrian) have already entered the roadway under safe conditions. The pedestrian needs to wait until there is sufficient distance between them and approaching vehicles to cross the road safely before they step onto the roadway. If, after a pedestrian enters the roadway under these safe conditions, a vehicle approaches, then the driver of that vehicle is required to yield to the pedestrian already in the roadway.

The law allows a pedestrian across the road when there is no crosswalk (jaywalking) so long as the pedestrians yield to traffic.

Consequences of failing to follow pedestrian safety laws

Unfortunately, pedestrian crashes often result in significant injuries for victims. The human body simply cannot absorb the impact of a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds without sustaining some type of damage. It is not uncommon for a vehicle versus pedestrian crash to result in the following injuries for the pedestrian:

  • Broken in dislocated bones
  • Severe lacerations or amputations
  • Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Open head wound
  • Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
  • Crush injuries

By following Georgia’s pedestrian safety laws, both drivers and pedestrians around the roadway have a much better chance of remaining safe. Call us today to speak with our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys.

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