Do pedestrians in New York State always have the right-of-way? Simply put, no. In almost ever situation that you will find yourself in, pedestrians DO have the right-of-way but there are a few instances where that is not the case. Do you know which ones they are?

According to the New York Department of Health, pedestrian injuries rank among the top 10 causes of injury-related hospital visits. 15,000 individuals are injured each year by motor vehicles on State roadways with 300 pedestrians losing their lives each year.

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In New York State drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and at intersections, it's the law. If you are looking to cross the street you have the right of way when the pedestrian signal shows a steady “Walk” sign or person symbol. Even if you are partially across when the "Don't Walk" message appears you have the right to complete your cross.

Even if the crosswalk is unmarked, pedestrians have the right-of-way. So, which scenarios do drivers have the right-of-way over pedestrians. Let's take a look.

Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash
Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash

Here are a few occasions where drivers have the right-of-way before pedestrians:

  • Pedestrians can't just begin to cross if the "Don't Walk" message is lit. Drivers have the right-of-way
  • Pedestrians cannot cross in front of traffic that has a green light. Drivers have the right-of-way
  • Drivers have the right-of-way on limited-access roads, such as expressways and interstates as well as entrance or exit ramps.
  • Motorists have the right of way at all locations outside of crosswalks at intersections.

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