Pedestrian Crosswalks

§ 46.2-923. How and where pedestrians to cross highways.

When crossing highways, pedestrians shall not carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. They shall cross, wherever possible, only at intersections or marked crosswalks. Where intersections contain no marked crosswalks, pedestrians shall not be guilty of negligence as a matter of law for crossing at any such intersection or between intersections when crossing by the most direct route.

The governing body of any town or city or the governing body of a county authorized by law to regulate traffic may by ordinance permit pedestrians to cross an intersection diagonally when all traffic entering the intersection has been halted by lights, other traffic control devices, or by a law-enforcement officer.

§ 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.

The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall stop when any pedestrian crossing such highway is within the driver's lane or within an adjacent lane and approaching the driver's lane until such pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.

  1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
  2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;
  3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic. Pedestrians still have to stop and look both ways before crossing the highway/roadway.

Be a Safe Driver: Be Alert

Look out for pedestrians at all times. When you are operating a vehicle, you have accepted an enhanced responsibility for other people on the road. Safety is a two-way street. Remain vigilant at all times.

Follow posted speed limits at all times, especially in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic. This is even more important in areas that have lower speed limits, such as school zones, downtown business districts, and neighborhood streets where pedestrians may appear without warning.

Use extra caution in bad weather conditions and poorly lit areas. Not only is it more difficult for drivers to see oncoming pedestrians, it is also harder for pedestrians to see you. Make sure your lights (WIPERS ON, LIGHTS ON) are on and you use your signals properly.

Watch for pedestrians when pulling into and out of driveways – especially if you are backing up. Pedestrians can easily enter your path without your knowledge.


  • Always yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
  • When approaching a crosswalk, reduce your speed and be prepared to stop.
  • While waiting at a crosswalk, allow enough room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see the pedestrian(s) you have stopped for.
  • Do not pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. They have stopped to allow pedestrian(s) to pass or are making sure the way is clear.

Do Not Drive Under the Influence

Alcohol and drugs impair your reaction time, reflexes, decision-making skills, and overall cognitive functions. Getting behind the wheel while impaired is dangerous.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians:

Be Visible

Make sure you are visible to drivers at all times and make eye contact with them whenever possible. This is especially important at night, in low-light conditions such as dusk or dawn, and in inclement weather.

  • Wear lightly colored or reflective clothing at night and brightly colored clothing during the day.
  • Stay in well-lit areas, especially when crossing the street.

Stay Alert – Avoid Distractions

Distractions are everywhere and becoming more and more difficult to avoid. Remember, as a pedestrian, your eyes and ears are your greatest tools for keeping safe.

  • Put down your phone. Smartphones and handheld electronic devices are a daily part of life, but they take your eyes off the road and divert your attention.
  • Do not wear headphones. Your ears will tell you a lot about what is happening around you – be sure to use them.

Follow the Rules

  • Know and follow all traffic rules, signs and signals. You need to be aware of the rules vehicles around you must follow to anticipate what drivers will do. This will help increase your safety.
  • Never assume a driver will give you the right of way. Make every effort to make eye contact with the driver of a stopped or approaching vehicle before entering the roadway.

Walk in Safe Places

  • Use crosswalks when crossing the street. If a crosswalk is unavailable, be sure to find the spot along the road that is well lit before crossing, and wait for a long enough gap in traffic to make it safely across the street.
  • Stay on sidewalks whenever possible. If a sidewalk is not available, be sure to walk on the far side of the road facing traffic. This will help increase your visibility to drivers.
  • Avoid walking along highways or other roadways where pedestrians are prohibited.