Bicyclist and Pedestrian Responsibilities on the Roadway

crosswalks and pedestrian's right

We usually think of a pedestrian as someone who travels on foot, but that isn’t always the case. For example, under Washington State law, a bicycle riding on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk is regarded as a pedestrian, though when it’s traveling along the road it’s a vehicle and must obey the rules of the road like any other vehicle.

The most basic of laws pertaining to pedestrians are the ones regarding right of way. Pedestrians have a nearly absolute right of way in the crosswalk at an uncontrolled crossing. “Crosswalk” in this case means that part of the road at an intersection area between the sidewalks on one side of the crossing to the other. If there is no sidewalk, then it’s the area within ten feet of the intersection unless there’s a marked crosswalk. Of course, if the crossing has signs or signals, all pedestrians must obey them when crossing the street.

Due Care Always Required



A person’s right of way is not infallible. Even the best designed roads and intersections require caution and judgment to remain safe. So, drivers and cyclists are expected to use due car at all times. Cars are large and fast-moving, while bicycle are often difficult to see. It isn’t enough to know that you have the right of way over someone else. You have to remain constantly observant and be aware and conscious of what is going on around you at all times. If you ride in front of a speeding car on the grounds that you’re “in the right,” you could end up in the hospital (or worse) as well as discovering that you were negligent for causing the harm.


If you were injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, consult with an attorney to appropriately decide who was negligent in the accident.

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