Thousands of our pedestrians are struck by cars and other vehicles each year. There are specific safety laws in place that apply to both drivers and pedestrians in an effort to reduce these crashes in Maryland. Pedestrian safety laws usually carry hefty fines up to $500 per violation, plus points for drivers who violate them.
Laws for Drivers
Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
Drivers must come to a complete stop while a pedestrian crosses, regardless of whether they’re in your lane or the adjacent one. Penalties start at $80 and may be up to $500, plus one point on your Driver’s License.
Do not pass another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian.
Passing a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian is illegal regardless of whether the pedestrian is in a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Penalties range from $80 to $500, with one point on your license.
Always yield right-of-way to pedestrians when turning at a green signal.
Whether you’re turning right or left, you must always yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. If you do not, you risk a $90 to $500 penalty and one point on your license.
Never block the crosswalk.
When you come to a stop at a traffic signal or stop sign, stay clear of the crosswalk, always stopping at the clearly marked stop line on the near side. Entering the crosswalk may result in a penalty of $140 to $500, and two points on your license.
Yield to pedestrians when turning on red.
When you’re turning right at a red light, pedestrians in the adjacent crosswalk have the right of way. Always yield or you risk a $90 to $500 fine, plus one point on your license.
Exercise due care with regard to pedestrians.
It should go without saying that you should do everything you can do to avoid hitting pedestrians. If the pedestrians appear confused, incapacitated, or unaware of your car, you should sound your horn, slow down and steer away from them. Failure to exercise proper caution when driving near a confused or incapacitated pedestrian may result in penalties of $70 to $500, plus one point on your license.
Drive at reduced speeds in areas dangerous for pedestrians.
In addition to adhering to all posted speed limits, be mindful of areas dangerous for pedestrians and slow down accordingly. Penalties for driving at speeds that endanger pedestrians are $90 to $500, plus one point.
Laws for Pedestrians
Always obey red traffic signals.
If the light is red, do not enter the crosswalk or roadway. Doing so may result in a $90 to $500 fine.
You must obey the pedestrian crossing signal.
If the crossing signal shows a red upraised hand or a solid “don’t walk” sign, you must stay out of the road and not try to cross, even if there is no traffic present. Ignoring the crossing signal may result in a $50 to $500 fine.
When not at a crosswalk, always give cars the right of way.
If you must cross anywhere other than a crosswalk or intersection, always give cars and other vehicles the right of way. If you don’t, you’ll face penalties of $50 to $500.
You must use marked crosswalks when available.
If there are traffic control signals or marked crosswalks nearby, you must use them. Pedestrians who fail to do so face penalties of $50 to $500.
Never cross intersections diagonally.
Unless directed to do so by traffic control signals or a police officer directing traffic, you should never cross an intersection diagonally. If you do, you may be fined $50 to $500.
Always use sidewalks if they are available.
Pedestrians should not walk along the roadway if there is a sidewalk available. If there is no sidewalk available, you may walk facing traffic on the left shoulder or on the left side of the road. The penalty for not doing so is a fine between $50 to $500.