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Striking a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk is a Violation of the Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL)

Striking a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk is a Violation of the Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL)

According to the State of New York Department of Health, pedestrian injuries for all age groups in New York that result in hospital admissions and death are among the top 10 causes of all accidents.  Approximately 15,000 pedestrians are injured and 300 are killed by motor vehicle accidents each year on the state’s roadways, with more than 3,000 pedestrians admitted to the hospital annually.  Drivers and pedestrians must pay attention and follow the VTL to prevent injuries or death.  Contrary to popular belief, safety is the responsibility of both parties – the pedestrian does NOT always have the right of way.  Both drivers and pedestrians who violate the New York State VTL can be held negligent and responsible for accidents. Both may be found liable for paying applicable fines and expenses.

While it is the inherent responsibility of drivers to pay careful attention and obey posted speed limits on the road, there are additional rules that govern the sharing of the road with those who are not operating a motor vehicle. 

These rules include:

➢     Slow down when pedestrians are present, taking extra care and caution near neighborhood streets, schools, and playgrounds

➢     Approach all intersections with due diligence and prudent caution

➢     Do not block or stop in marked crosswalks when stopping at intersections

➢     Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections, paying careful attention to changing traffic lights, crossing guards, and signals

➢     Exercise extreme caution when passing stopped or parked vehicles – ESPECIALLY school busses

➢     Stay off ALL mobile devices when operating a motor vehicle.  Never text while driving; if you must use your telephone, always use a hands-free-capable device and approach.

Likewise, pedestrians expect careful vigilance and courtesy when sharing the streets with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicyclists. 

Whether on a crowded city street or a quiet neighborhood lane, pedestrians must always:

➢     Remain alert to other traffic, whether vehicular or on foot

➢     Cross in marked crosswalks and intersections, using manual push buttons and appropriate signaling where available

➢     Use the rule of Left-Right-Left when looking both ways before carefully entering the roadway to cross any street

➢     Walk on all available sidewalks and not in or on roadways whenever possible.  If you must walk on the roadway, walk at the side, facing oncoming traffic for your best visibility and that of drivers

➢     Keep your eyes on your path – don’t text while walking in areas of any vehicular or foot traffic congestion, making eye contact with other pedestrians or drivers to ensure that you are seen

➢     Wear light-colored and visible clothing and consider footwear with reflective areas for better visibility

➢     Pay careful attention to driveways, alleys, parking lot spaces, and awkward blind spots.  Remember, busses and trucks have limited visibility and may take longer to stop than smaller vehicles

➢     Do not step or run out suddenly from between parked vehicles or buildings, as passing vehicles may have no ability to stop quickly

➢     When emerging from between or passing either a stopped or parked vehicle, proceed with extreme caution, watching for other vehicles that may be passing those which are not in motion

➢    Only cross diagonally across a street or intersection if official traffic-control devices expressly authorize such access, and when authorized, only in accordance with such traffic-control devices.

Keeping these rules in mind, common pedestrian violations are still committed each day, causing untold and completely avoidable collisions. 

The most common are:

➢     Failure to obey traffic and/or pedestrian control signaling

➢     Failure to yield the right-of-way to vehicular traffic

➢     Impaired foot travel due to intoxication or distraction

➢     A lack of caution in poor visibility conditions, such as crowded spaces, inclement weather, or insufficiently lit areas

Most violations of the VTL are avoidable and unnecessary, but all come at a cost – whether financial, medical, psychological, or emotional.  Sorting out the details following a pedestrian/vehicle accident can be complex and time-consuming, and time is of the essence when pursuing a claim for personal injuries and loss.

Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, P.C. for your free initial consultation if you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in New York. We are uniquely qualified to evaluate the details of your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

About The Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner

If you’ve been injured and want the best possible outcome, the Law Offices of Stuart Kerner P.C. in The Bronx can help you. Our firm has obtained favorable results for injury victims and their families throughout New York in personal injury cases such as auto accidents, oilfield accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and serious personal injuries.

Our law firm offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and review the legal remedies available to you. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your case. Above all, you shouldn’t feel alone and isolated after an accident. We’ll come to you if you’ve been hurt in an accident. Our attorney can travel to your home or hospital at your request.

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