Who’s to blame for crash if pedestrian doesn’t have right of way?

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve explains rules of the road

GF Default - Ask Trooper Steve: Rules when crossing a road
GF Default - Ask Trooper Steve: Rules when crossing a road

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Orange County is No. 1 when it comes to crashes involving vehicles verse pedestrians.

“This is not something we should be proud of, and unfortunately, based off what I have investigated over the years, almost nine out of every 10 crashes is the fault of the pedestrian,” Trooper Steve said. "So when it comes to who would be cited if a pedestrian crossed the roadway when they weren’t supposed to and a driver hits them, who would get the ticket?"

Trooper Steve said pedestrians don’t automatically have the right of way.

“We all have rules to follow and that includes pedestrians,” he said. “At every crosswalk that is controlled by a traffic signal, there is a pedestrian indicator that lets you know when to cross and when not to cross. If you decided to cross when you were not supposed to and were struck by a vehicle, you could still be cited by law enforcement for violation of a traffic control device, therefore putting you at fault for the crash.”

Trooper Steve said he vividly remembers a similar scenario.

“I’ll never forget the time when I was in training as a young trooper in the southern portion of Osceola County,” he said. “I responded to a crash involving a pedestrian and a vehicle in the middle of the night. While watching my field training officer go through the crash investigation, we determined that the pedestrian was at fault for that crash. Of course, it was quite a traumatic experience for the driver, but we would never write a ticket for someone who wasn’t at fault for something. In the end, we ultimately drove to the hospital and delivered a citation to that pedestrian.”

Trooper Steve said the most important thing is for everyone to pay attention.

“Driving is a tricky game we play all the time,” he said. “Our lives depend on it.”

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