Drivers receive a green light at the same time pedestrians receive "walk" sign. Who has the right of way?

I'm a pedestrian, which is rare where I live, and I have noticed that when I receive the "walk" signal to cross a street, drivers will also receive a green light to go. Usually, they are allowed to turn right at the same time, but I have also encountered instances when drivers are allowed to turn left into the street that I am crossing. In these instances, who has the right of way? May I walk when I receive the walk sign, as long as I make eye-contact with the drivers? Or do I have to wait for motorists to drive through? Thank you.

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    In most citys the pedestrian always has the right of way.

  • 1 decade ago

    It does not have to do with local or city law. It is state law. As an insurance adjuster, I can tell you that pedestrians do not "always" have the right of way. If you have a walk signal you do have the row(right of way) over a moving vehicle. Keep in mind that if a driver does not see you and they can prove that you did see the vehicle you would clearly have contributory negligance for the accident. I recently had a case that went to court where a little boy was running across the street and hit by a motorist. The argument was that the boy age 9 was of the age that clearly should have known better and the driver, although had time to react, had the row. The insurance company offered a settlement and the lawyer thought he could get 20 times that amount. The judgement was a defense verdict(the insurance company won). Be careful out there.

  • 1 decade ago

    Pedestrians always have the right of way. Or should I say that the driver should always YIELD to pedestrians. In fact even if a person is jaywalking (crossing the street in the middle of the block) it is the driver who is suppose to YIELD. It only makes sense because a person on foot cannot yield fast enough to avoid a moving car.


    But that is not to say that a pedestrian should not be careful. I once got hit by car even though I had the right of way. But I was not hit hard enough for any kind of action. So even if I had the right of way, I would get hit plenty of times if I think law would come to my aide.

    • Lana
      Lv 5
      5 years agoReport

      Hate to tell you this but a pedestrian crossing in
      mid block DOES NOT have the right of way. I
      know what you're saying by if the person steps
      off the curb, a vehicle should yield. But if they
      don't step off the curb they just have to wait until
      there is a break in the traffic flow.

  • Fred C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Pedestrian on a "walk" always has right-of-way over car on a "green" It has to be that way for the protection of the pedestrian, not to mention the fact no pedestrian would ever get across the street in rush hour otherwise.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Pedestrians always have the right of way. In your situation, you have the right of way and since the vehicle is turning, it's legally supposed to yield to you. If you have a WALK signal, you legally have the right to cross the street, not to say it's safe though. This is where eye contact is essential. Ultimately, if your hit, you should have a case, but I'm no lawyer. Try another route?!

  • 1 decade ago

    Cdever5 is right, in almost every case, the pedestrian has the right of way, except in cases where the driver clearly should not be expected to stop for the pedestrian. However 'having the right of way' is a different case from 'having common sense'. Jaywalking is stupid, but cars should still stop, lest a life be lost.

    At crosswalks, cars should always be expected to stop and/or wait for pedestrians to clear the street. 'I had the right of way' never works when people hit pedestrians. =)

  • 1 decade ago


  • 3 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A pedestrian always has the right of way to a vehicle in any marked crossing.

  • 1 decade ago

    What state are you in? In Arizona, pedestrians have the right of way if they are on your half of the road, or close enough to it to be in danger.

    And Izzie, you are incorrect. Pedestrians DO NOT always have the right of way - that is why most states (if not all) have Jawalking laws.

    Source(s): AZ traffic school instructor for 5+ years
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