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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rules for Pedestrians in Kentucky

Not only in the cities, but through rural Campbell County, pedestrians must be aware of traffic and other dangers while walking, beyond just looking both ways before crossing.  In order to minimize the potential dangers for all, the Legislature has set several rules for pedestrians.  These rules may seem obvious but I believe it may be useful to review as they are important for pedestrians and drivers alike to understand.

These rules include requiring pedestrians to obey the instruction of any official traffic control devices specifically designed and applicable to the pedestrian.  Of course, if there is a police officer directing traffic, the officer can direct otherwise. Similarly, no pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices.  Moreover, 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 as to constitute an immediate hazard.

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Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.  Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder, as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.  Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking on or along a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.  Any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

Violation of these rules set by the Legislature could result being charged with a criminal violation and being subject to a minimum fine of $20 up to a maximum fine $100 plus court costs.  Regardless of the potential criminal penalty, pedestrians should strive to be safe while traveling to avoid injury.

Here are some addition tips that may assist pedestrians while traveling:

Do not assume vehicles will stop;
Do not rely solely on pedestrian signals;
Be alert to your surroundings including approaching lights and noises;
Wear bright/light colored clothing;
Stay sober;
Carry a flashlight while walking at night; and
Do not wear headphones or be talking/texting on phones while walking

I hope this information and tips will help keep all of us safe.  If you have any topics you would like to have covered in this column, please contact my office by e-mail at, by phone at 491-7700 or by regular mail addressed to 319 York Street, Newport, Kentucky 41071.

By Steve Franzen, Campbell County Attorney 

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