Pedestrians and the Law
As a resident of Las Vegas, you can certainly understand and appreciate the daily grind of traffic, highway congestion and construction. While most of us are familiar with the basic rules of the road, not everyone understands that there are duties that extend to pedestrians, as well as other motorists. Clearly, drivers have a duty to take proper precautions towards pedestrians within designated crosswalks, but they also, in some instances, have the same duty as it relates to non-crosswalk scenarios. Simply stated, pedestrians have the right to travel safely across roadways, but must also exercise care in doing so.
Generally speaking, motorists and pedestrians are both under the same duty to exercise caution when entering roadways. Both also have a duty to alter their actions according to potentially unsafe conditions and/or circumstances. If either a motorist or pedestrian fails to take proper precautions, an accident can occur and the party failing to exercise due care can be held responsible for the resulting injuries and/or damages.
Nevada law requires motorists to come to a complete stop before an intersection crosswalk, even if the motorist is intending to turn right on a red light. Further, motorists intending to turn right on a red light should absolutely check for oncoming vehicles, as well as pedestrians coming from either the left or right or any pedestrians intending to cross the adjoining street.
Motorist must allow pedestrians to cross the intersection if they have a “walk” signal to cross. Further, if a person is already in the crosswalk as a motorist is approaching an intersection, independent of the traffic signal, the motorist must yield to the pedestrian. Lastly, the law requires that if crosswalks are present, a pedestrian must use the crosswalks and abide by the crosswalk signals to cross traffic.
Pedestrians attempting to cross the street at an area without a crosswalk may be in violation of “jay-walking” laws, but independently, they must always yield to all vehicles. In turn, motorists must exercise caution as it relates to pedestrians entering traffic, independent of whether they are doing so within a crosswalk. In fact, if a motorist does not exercise due care and a pedestrian is injured, the motorist may be liable even if the pedestrian was crossing the street outside of a designated crosswalk.