Arizona Jaywalking Laws

July 1, 2019

As of March 1, 2018, Arizona had the highest number of pedestrian deaths. The increase in deaths may be due in part to the speed of vehicles and negligence of drivers. Increasing the speed of a moving vehicle from 20 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour, increases the likelihood of death from 10% to 80%. Arizona has attempted to encourage walking, but has done little to remedy the tragedy of injuries and deaths from pedestrian-car accidents.

That’s why our Phoenix personal injury lawyers have put together this resource to explain everything about jaywalking laws in Arizona.

Is Jaywalking Illegal in Arizona?

According to Arizona legislation Section 28-793, a pedestrian may cross at an unmarked crosswalk but not between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation. The latter is known as jaywalking. Pedestrians have as much of a responsibility to yield to oncoming vehicles as vehicles do. The law requires pedestrians to wait until traffic clears and it is safe to cross. If a person commits illegal jaywalking and causes a collision, they may be legally responsible for it. Different cities have different ordinances about the specifics of jaywalking. Be sure you understand the local laws in your Arizona city or town.

Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in Arizona?

Arizona divides issues pedestrian right-of-way into two areas of concern – crosswalks and sidewalks. At crosswalks, vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. This means when a pedestrian is present at the half of the crosswalk in front of the vehicle, the vehicle must stop. However, Arizona law also states that a pedestrian should never enter a crosswalk so quickly in front of a vehicle that the vehicle does not have time to stop completely.

Sidewalks are the other area of concern because many pedestrians do not use sidewalks properly. This includes not using the sidewalk at all. Arizona law requires that pedestrians use the sidewalk whenever present. Pedestrians may not walk along the roadway if a sidewalk is present. If no sidewalk is present, the law requires pedestrians to walk in the opposite direction of traffic. This helps pedestrians be more visible to motorists. If you are a pedestrian in Arizona, don’t mistakenly assume you always have the right-of-way; know the laws in your area.

Who’s at Fault if a Car Hits a Jaywalker?

There are several factors that determine who is at fault if a car hits a jaywalker. Being a pedestrian alone in Arizona is not enough to be completely liability-free. For example, if a person suddenly jumps out in front of oncoming traffic and causes an accident, that person may be liable for the collision.

Additionally, if a person decides to run across a roadway and mistakes how quick oncoming traffic is, they may also be liable. Anytime a person does not cross at a marked crosswalk, and crosses a roadway instead, this constitutes jaywalking. The law may therefore hold the pedestrian accountable. People who choose to walk should understand the difference in pedestrian rights and illegal jaywalking.

In a Pedestrian-Car Accident, Can a Pedestrian be at Fault?

The pedestrian may be at fault in a car-pedestrian accident. This is often the case when intoxication is involved. Intoxicated pedestrians or drivers affect the majority of pedestrian-car accidents. If an intoxicated pedestrian steps off the sidewalk into traffic, or suddenly onto the crosswalk and causes an accident, the courts may find the pedestrian liable when considering a reasonable and unimpaired pedestrian would not have acted in that way.

If you are a pedestrian who has been involved in a car accident in Arizona, it is important to hire an attorney. A Phoenix car accident attorney can help analyze the evidence in your case and determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation.