Area Police are Enforcing Pedestrian Safety Laws.

LAWS

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Laws for Pedestrians

  • No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb, safety platform, safety zone, loading platform or other designated place of safety and walk or turn into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. (2303.2)
  • No pedestrians shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of a “Don’t Walk” signal. (2302.3)
  • Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk. (2304.1)
  • Each person crossing the roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk, or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. (2304.2)
  • Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. (2305)

Laws for Motorists around Pedestrians

  • A driver of any vehicle shall STOP and give right-of-way to a pedestrian who has begun crossing on the “Walk” signal to continue to the opposite sidewalk or safety island, whichever is nearest. (50-2201.28 (b))
  • The driver of a vehicle shall STOP and give right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. (50-2201.28 (a))
  • Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at any intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. (2221.5)
  • The driver of a vehicle crossing a sidewalk or sidewalk area shall stop and yield right-of-way to any pedestrian and all other traffic using the sidewalk or sidewalk area. (2202.1)
  • In every event speed shall be controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the street or highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care. (2200.4)
  • Right turns after coming to a complete stop and yielding right-of-way to pedestrians and other vehicles shall be allowed when facing red traffic control signals, except at locations listed in this section. (4013)
  • An operator shall, when operating a vehicle, give full time and attention to the operation of the vehicle. (2213.4)
  • No vehicle shall enter an intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle without obstructing the passage of other vehicles or pedestrians, not withstanding any traffic control signal indication to proceed. (2201.7)
  • No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in any of the following places, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, in compliance with the law or at the direction of a police officer or traffic control device: a) within an intersection, b) on a crosswalk, and c) in any driveway, alley entrance, or other way when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct the flow of pedestrian or other lawful traffic upon any sidewalk. (2405.1)

Laws for Motorists around Bicycles

  • No person shall open a door of a vehicle on the side where traffic is approaching unless it can be done without interfering with moving traffic or pedestrians and with safety to himself or herself and passengers. (2214.4)
  • The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left shall yield right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. (2208.2)
  • The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance. (2202.2)
  • No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in a bicycle lane, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, in compliance with the law, or at the direction of a police officer or traffic control device. (P-385)

Laws for Bicyclists

  • Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subjects to all duties applicable to drivers of motor vehicles. (1201.1)
  • There shall be no prohibition against any person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk within the District, so long as the rider does not create a hazard; provided, that no person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within the Central Business District. (1201.10)
  • Any person riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and shall travel at a speed no greater than the posted speed limit of the adjacent roadway; provided that such speed is safe for the conditions of the sidewalk. (1201.10)
  • A person operating a bicycle shall comply with subsection 2201.1 of this title requiring drivers to be on the right half of the roadway and shall not operate on the left facing traffic coming from the opposite direction except when authorized by that section. (1201.2 (a))
  • No bicyclist shall suddenly leave a sidewalk and ride into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. (1201.13)
  • Each bicycle, when in use at night, shall be equipped with a white lamp on the front, visible from at least 500 feet and a red reflector on the rear (a rear red lamp my abe used (1201.3)). (1204.2)
  • No person shall operate a bicycle except in obedience to the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs, and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or other person authorized to direct and control traffic. (2101.15)

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MARYLAND

Laws for Pedestrians

  • At an intersection, a pedestrian is subject to all traffic control signals.
  • If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
    • If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
    • Between adjacent intersections at which a traffic control signal is in operation, a pedestrian may cross a roadway only in a marked crosswalk.
    • A pedestrian may not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by a traffic control device for crossing movements. If authorized to cross diagonally, a pedestrian may cross only in accordance with the traffic control device.
  • If practicable, a pedestrian shall walk on the right half of a crosswalk.
  • Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.
    • Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian who walks along and on a highway may walk only on the left shoulder, if practicable, or on the left side of the roadway, as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway, facing any traffic that might approach from the opposite direction.
  • A pedestrian who crosses a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to any approaching emergency vehicle that is using audible and visual signals that meet the requirements of § 22-218 of this article.
  • Police vehicles using audible signal.- A pedestrian who crosses a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to any approaching police vehicle that is lawfully using an audible signal.

Laws for Motorists around Pedestrians

  • The driver of a vehicle must stop for a pedestrian at crosswalks and intersections without signals when:
    • The pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling.
    • The pedestrian is approaching within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling.(§ 21-502 (a)(2))
  • The driver of a vehicle must stop for a pedestrian at intersections with signals:
  • When proceeding on a green signal, drivers turning right or left shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within the crosswalk.
  • When turning right on red after stopping, drivers shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within the crosswalk.(§ 21-202 (c), (d) & (k))

Laws for Motorists around Bicycles

  • The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle, including a bicycle, which is going in the same direction, shall pass to the left of the overtaken vehicle at a safe distance.
  • The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle that is going in the same direction, until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle, may not drive any part of his vehicle directly in front of the overtaken vehicle.
  • Drivers shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter being ridden by a person the driver of a vehicle must not pass any closer than three (3) feet to a bicycle or motor scooter if the bicycle is operated in a lawful manner. It is not lawful to ride against traffic.
  • After passing you must make sure you are clear of the bicyclist before making any turns. The bike has the right of way, and you must yield to bike, when you are turning. Failing to yield right of way to a bicyclist, resulting in a crash in which the bicyclist is seriously injured can result in a $1,000 fine and three points on your driving record.
  • Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists riding in bike lanes and shoulders when these vehicle operators are entering or crossing occupied bike lanes and shoulders.
  • When riding on a sidewalk, where such riding is permitted, or a bike path, a bicyclist may ride in a crosswalk to continue on their route. Motorists are required to yield right of way to a bicyclist operating lawfully in a crosswalk at a signalized intersection. (TR §21-101, §21-202, & §21-1103) look for bikes coming from both directions.
  • A person may not throw any object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter.
  • A person may not open the door of any motor vehicle with intent to strike, injure, or interfere with any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter. Don’t open door into traffic.

Laws for Bicyclists

Maryland law provides for the right-of-way of bicyclists, just as it does for the operators of motor vehicles. Bicyclists also have the duty to obey all traffic signals, signs and pavement markings, just as do drivers.





Riding in Traffic Lanes and on Shoulders

  • A bicyclist riding slower than the speed of traffic is confined to the right hand through lane (much the same way as a slow moving vehicle is) and as close to the right side of the road as is safe. A bicyclist can move further left to:
    • Make or attempt to make a vehicular style left turn;
    • Pass a stopped or slower moving vehicle; or
    • Avoid pedestrians or road hazards.
  • This ride-to-the-right provision does not apply when operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to travel safely side-by-side with another vehicle within the lane. The provision also does not apply where the right-hand lane is a turn lane, or the bicyclist is operating on a one-way street. (TR § 21-1205(a))
  • A bicyclist riding at the speed of traffic can operate in any lane, just as any other vehicle can..Where there is not a bike lane, a bicyclist may also use the shoulder of the roadway. (TR § 21-1205.1(b))
  • Bicycles may not be ridden in the travel lanes of any roadway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 50 miles an hour; however, bicycles may be operated on the shoulder of these roadways.
  • Bicycles may not be operated on expressways (access-controlled freeways and interstate highways), except on an adjacent path or facility approved by the State Highway Administration. (TR § 21-1205.1(a)(2))

Riding in Bike Lanes

Where there are marked bicycle lanes paved to a smooth surface, a person operating a bicycle must use the bike lane and may not ride on the roadway, except in the following situations:

  • When overtaking and passing another bicycle, motor scooter, pedestrian, or other vehicle within the bike lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the bike lane;
  • When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway;
  • When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane to avoid debris or other hazardous condition; or
  • When reasonably necessary to leave the bike lane because the bike lane is overlaid with a right turn lane, merge lane, or other marking that breaks the continuity of the bike lane. (TR § 21-1205.1(b)(2))

Equipment Required

  • By law, all bicycles must be equipped with brakes capable of stopping from a speed of 10 miles per hour within 15 feet on dry, level, clean pavement. (TR § 21-1207)(d)
  • If operated in low visibility conditions, bicycles must also be equipped with a white beam headlight visible at a distance of 500 feet, and a red rear reflector visible at a distance of 600 feet if night time or during unfavorable visibility conditions. Alternately, a bicyclist may be equipped with a functioning lamp that acts as a reflector and emits a red light or a flashing amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear instead of, or in addition to the red reflector above. (TR § 21-1207)(a)
  • A bicycle or motor scooter may be equipped with a bell or other audible device, but not a siren or whistle. (TR § 21-1207)(b)
  • Any rider under the age of 16 must also wear a helmet that meets or exceeds the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation, or the American Society for Testing and Materials. (TR § 21-1207.1)

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VIRGINIA

Laws for Pedestrians

  • When crossing highways, pedestrians shall not carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. They shall cross, wherever 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 such intersection or between intersections when crossing by the most direct route.
    • The governing body of any town or city or the governing body of a county authorized by law to regulate traffic may by ordinance permit pedestrians to cross an intersection diagonally when all traffic entering the intersection has been halted by lights, other traffic control devices, or by a law-enforcement officer.
  • Whenever pedestrian control signals exhibiting the words, numbers, or symbols meaning "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are in place such signals shall indicate and apply to pedestrians as follows:
    • Walk. – Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.
    • Don't Walk. – No pedestrian shall start to cross the highway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the Walk signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island and remain there while the Don't Walk signal is showing.
  • No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side. The foregoing prohibition shall not apply to a pedestrian stepping into a highway to board a bus or to enter a safety zone, in which event he shall cross the highway only at right angles.
  • When actually boarding or alighting from buses, pedestrians shall have the right-of-way over vehicles, but shall not, in order to board or alight from buses, step into the highway sooner or remain there longer than is absolutely necessary.
  • Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface, or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.

Laws for Motorists Around Pedestrians

  • The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:
    • 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 a 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.
    • At intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.
  • No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.
  • The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.
  • The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or using a dog guide shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian and dog guide, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused.

Laws for Motorists Around Bicyclists

  • Any driver of any vehicle overtaking a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a reasonable speed at least two feet t the left of the overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle and shall not again proceed to the right side of the highway until safely clear of such overtaken bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, animal, or animal-drawn vehicle.

Laws for Bicyclists

  • Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Virginia section on motor vehicles and shall have the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle unless a provision clearly indicates otherwise.
  • A right turn may be signaled with the right arm. The signals do not have to be given continuously if both hands are needed to control the bicycle. Bicyclists may make left turns as either motorists or as pedestrians do. To make a pedestrian left turn, the bicyclist should continue straight across the intersecting road staying as close as is practicable to the right edge of the roadway until they reach the far corner. At the corner they should turn left and obey the traffic signals before proceeding as usual. Bicyclists may also dismount and walk in the crosswalks of the two intersecting roads. If traffic control devices specify the method of crossings, these directions must be followed. Please refer to the examples shown here:
    Virginia Bike Turning
  • Any person operating a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place under conditions then existing shall ride as close as safely practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following circumstances:
    • When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
    • When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
    • When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right curb or edge;
    • When avoiding riding in a lane that must turn or diverge to the right; and
    • When riding upon a one-way road or highway, a person may also ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as safely practicable.
  • For purposes of the Code of Virginia, a "substandard width lane" is a lane too narrow for a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorized skateboard or scooter, or moped and another vehicle to pass safely side by side within the lane.
  • Persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, or electric power-assisted bicycles on a highway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, shall move into a single file formation as quickly as is practicable when being overtaken from the rear by a faster moving vehicle, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride in a single lane.
  • Any person who owns a bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, or electric power-assisted bicycle may register its serial number with the local law-enforcement agency of the political subdivision in which such person resides.

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