Another pedestrian was killed on Saturday night in Gwinnett County. She appears to have been trying to cross the street. The woman was hit by an unidentified jeep.
Pedestrians in the Atlanta area run a significant risk of injury or death. Many roads have no sidewalks or safe areas to walk, and drivers do not watch for pedestrians. Even getting to a bus stop can be hazardous.
Many drivers aren’t sure what to do when they encounter a pedestrian. In 1995 the Georgia legislature changed the cross walk law such that drivers must “stop and stay stopped” for pedestrians, not just yield to them. Be sure you know the law. You’ll avoid a ticket and maybe save a life. In the City of Atlanta, for instance, police will cite drivers who proceed through the intersection prior to all pedestrians clearing the cross walk. While it is nearly impossible to drive in downtown Atlanta traffic and not do this, you do run the risk of being ticketed for this technical interpretation of the law (instead of the common sense interpretation which requires, as evidenced by the applicable Georgia codes below, the driver to yield to pedestrians in the cross walk and to proceed through the intersection once the pedestrians are out of harm’s way). The applicable Georgia law that governs this area is as follows:
§ 40-6-91. Right of Way in Crosswalks:
(a) The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.
(c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92.
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
§ 40-6-92. Crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk:
(a) Every pedestrian crossing a 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 unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway if he uses the roadway instead of such tunnel or crossing.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to such crossing movements.
§ 40-6-22. Pedestrian control signals:
Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words WALK or DON’T WALK or symbols so directing a pedestrian are in place, such signals shall indicate as follows:
(1) Word or symbol message WALK — Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal. Every driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped for such pedestrians; and
(2) Flashing or steady DON’T WALK — No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of such a signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the WALK signal shall proceed to sidewalk or safety island while the DON’T WALK signal is showing.
§ 40-1-1.(10) Definition of a Crosswalk:
“Crosswalk” means (A) That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs or in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; or (B) Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
In the meantime, Robert J. Fleming is a respected Atlanta personal injury lawyer working to improve conditions one person at a time. If you have suffered injuries like broken bones, head, or neck injuries because of a bad driver while walking or cycling, we are here to help.
Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.