For some reason, Tampa Bay is one of the most dangerous places to be a pedestrian. For example, according to Florida’s Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, nearly 500 pedestrians are killed and 7,500 seriously injured each year in Florida alone. The number of pedestrian traffic accidents increases every year, perhaps partly because of the increased number of people who are taking public transportation and then having to walk the rest of the way to work, school, or home.
Pedestrians are subject to Florida Statute Section 316.130 and its 19 subsections. Driving around Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater I see things that are not only dangerous but also potentially illegal.
Here are eight interesting “highlights” found in Florida’s pedestrian law. Some may seem obvious, but others may surprise you:
1. If there is a sidewalk, you must use it and cannot walk or run in the street. 316.130(3).
2. You cannot stand in the road to hitch hike, or sell things like water, fruit, or chewing gum–all things one sees frequently at busy intersections in Tampa Bay. 316.130 (6). County and city ordinances did not need to be passed to avoid this, only enforcement of the law.
3. Drivers must stop for a pedestrian entering the roadway using a crosswalk. 316.130 (7).
4. Drivers cannot pass or overtake a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk for a pedestrian. 316.130 (9).
5. Drivers have the right of way over a pedestrian who is crossing the road at a place other than at a crosswalk. In other words, pedestrians DO NOT always have the right of way in Florida. 316.130 (10).
6. It is illegal to cross a road between adjacent intersections and not use a crosswalk. 316.130 (11).
7. One must cross the road using the shortest and most direct route (except at crosswalks) from curb to curb.
8. Jumping off these bridges is not only dangerous but also violates 316.130 (17).
Our personal injury attorneys in Florida are passionate about protecting the legal rights of those who have been hurt or killed in traffic accidents. Many people do not realize that a pedestrian hit by a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle in Florida is entitled to special insurance benefits that will pay up to $10,000 for lost wages and medical expenses and an additional $5,000 for funeral expenses.
With law offices in Tampa, we accept cases across the State on a contingency fee basis. In other words, we do not get paid unless we are successful in getting our clients money for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
With more than 45 years of combined legal experience in representing people–and fighting against insurance companies like State Farm, All State, and Geico–we can help you if you have been injured as a pedestrian. Please call 813.755.9500 or email us today.