Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 8. Regulation of Traffic
11/29/2021

Article 16. Pedestrians.

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

A. 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.

B. 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.

C. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a pedestrian for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the person's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-243; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-230; 1966, c. 706; 1976, c. 322; 1981, c. 163; 1989, c. 727; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

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

A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway by stopping and remaining stopped until such pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at midblock 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; or

3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway where the speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour.

B. When a vehicle is stopped pursuant to subsection A, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from an adjacent lane or from behind the stopped vehicle shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A, at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.

No pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic.

The drivers of vehicles entering, crossing, or turning at intersections shall change their course, slow down, or stop if necessary to permit pedestrians to cross such intersections safely and expeditiously.

Pedestrians crossing highways at intersections shall at all times have the right-of-way over vehicles making turns into the highways being crossed by the pedestrians.

D. The governing body of Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and any town therein, the City of Alexandria, the City of Fairfax, the City of Falls Church, and the Town of Ashland may by ordinance provide for the installation and maintenance of highway signs at marked crosswalks specifically requiring operators of motor vehicles, at the locations where such signs are installed, to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing or attempting to cross the highway. Any operator of a motor vehicle who fails at such locations to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians as required by such signs shall be guilty of a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of no less than $100 or more than $500. The Department of Transportation shall develop criteria for the design, location, and installation of such signs. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any limited access highway.

E. Where a shared-use path crosses a highway at a clearly marked crosswalk and there are no traffic control signals at such crossing, the local governing body may by ordinance require pedestrians, cyclists, and any other users of such shared-used path to come to a complete stop prior to entering such crosswalk. Such local ordinance may provide for a fine not to exceed $100 for violations. Any locality adopting such an ordinance shall install and maintain stop signs, consistent with standards adopted by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and to the extent necessary in coordination with the Department of Transportation. At such crosswalks, no user of such shared-use path shall enter the crosswalk in disregard of approaching traffic.

F. A locality adopting an ordinance under subsection E shall coordinate the enforcement and placement of any stop signs affecting a shared-use path owned and operated by a park authority formed under Chapter 57 (§ 15.2-5700 et seq.) of Title 15.2 with such authority.

Code 1950, §§ 46-243, 46-244; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-231; 1962, c. 471; 1968, c. 165; 1972, c. 576; 1976, c. 322; 1989, c. 727; 2000, c. 323; 2002, c. 327; 2004, c. 658; 2007, c. 813; 2012, c. 339; 2013, cc. 507, 585, 646, 681; 2019, c. 103; 2020, c. 1031.

§ 46.2-925. Pedestrian control signals.

Whenever pedestrian control signals exhibiting the words, numbers, or symbols meaning "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are in place such signals shall indicate and apply to pedestrians as follows:

Walk. --Pedestrians facing such signal may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.

Don't Walk. --No pedestrian shall start to cross the highway in the direction of such signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed his crossing on the Walk signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island and remain there while the Don't Walk signal is showing.

1974, c. 347, § 46.1-231.1; 1989, c. 727; 2008, c. 451.

§ 46.2-926. Pedestrians stepping into highway where they cannot be seen.

A. No pedestrian shall step into a highway open to moving vehicular traffic at any point between intersections where his presence would be obscured from the vision of drivers of approaching vehicles by a vehicle or other obstruction at the curb or side. The foregoing prohibition shall not apply to a pedestrian stepping into a highway to board a bus or to enter a safety zone, in which event he shall cross the highway only at right angles.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a pedestrian for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the person's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-245; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-232; 1989, c. 727; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-927. Boarding or alighting from buses.

When actually boarding or alighting from buses, pedestrians shall have the right-of-way over vehicles, but shall not, in order to board or alight from buses, step into the highway sooner or remain there longer than is absolutely necessary.

Code 1950, § 46-246; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-233; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-928. Pedestrians not to use roadway except when necessary; keeping to left.

Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface, or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.

Code 1950, § 46-247; 1950, p. 850; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-234; 1968, c. 165; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-929. Pedestrians soliciting rides.

Pedestrians shall not stand or stop in any roadway for the purpose of soliciting rides.

Code 1950, § 46-247; 1950, p. 850; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-234; 1968, c. 165; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-930. Loitering on bridges or highway rights-of-way.

Pedestrians shall not loiter on any bridge or in any portion of the right-of-way of any highway where loitering has been determined by the Commissioner of Highways or the local governing body of any county, city, or town to present a public safety hazard and on which the Commissioner of Highways or the governing body of any county, city, or town has posted signs prohibiting such action. Local jurisdictions shall obtain concurrence from the Commissioner of Highways on the placements of signs on the right-of-way of any bridge or highway under the jurisdiction and control of the Commissioner of Highways or the Virginia Department of Transportation; however, the local jurisdiction shall be responsible for all costs of the production, installation, and maintenance of the signs. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a traffic infraction.

1966, c. 469, § 46.1-234.1; 1978, c. 605; 1989, c. 727; 2008, c. 503; 2009, c. 432.

§ 46.2-931. Localities may prohibit or regulate distribution of handbills, etc., solicitation of contributions, and sale of merchandise or services on highways within their boundaries or on public roadways and medians.

A. Any county, city, or town is hereby authorized to adopt an ordinance prohibiting or regulating:

1. The distribution of handbills, leaflets, bulletins, literature, advertisements, or similar material to the occupants of motor vehicles on highways located within its boundaries or on public roadways and medians;

2. The solicitation of contributions of any nature from the occupants of motor vehicles on highways located within its boundaries or on public roadways and medians; and

3. The sale of merchandise or services or the attempted sale of merchandise or services to the occupants of motor vehicles on highways located within its boundaries or on public roadways and medians.

B. Ordinances adopted pursuant to this section may provide that any person violating the provisions of such ordinances shall be guilty of a traffic infraction.

C. The Virginia Department of Transportation may regulate activities within such streets and highways under its jurisdiction, subject to regulations promulgated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow any locality to permit activities within any highway under the maintenance and operational jurisdiction of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

1980, c. 113; 1989, c. 727; 2005, cc. 488, 541; 2008, cc. 120, 235, 310; 2009, cc. 422, 656, 722; 2010, cc. 378, 589.

§ 46.2-932. Playing on highways; use of toy vehicle on highways, persons riding bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, etc., not to attach to vehicles; exception.

A. No person shall play on a highway, other than on the sidewalks thereof, within a city or town or on any part of a highway outside the limits of a city or town designated by the Commissioner of Highways exclusively for vehicular travel. No person shall use any toy vehicle on the roadway of any highway that (i) has a speed limit greater than 25 miles per hour, (ii) has more than two travel lanes, or (iii) is located outside a residence district as defined in § 46.2-100. The governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns may designate areas on highways under their control where play is permitted and may impose reasonable restrictions on play on such highways. Persons using such devices, except bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and motorcycles, shall keep as near as safely practicable to the far right side or edge of the right traffic lane so that they will be proceeding in the same direction as other traffic.

No person riding on any bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, roller skates, skateboards or other devices on wheels or runners, shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle on a highway.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, the governing body of Arlington County may by ordinance permit the use of devices on wheels or runners on highways under such county's control, subject to such limitations and conditions as the governing body may deem necessary and reasonable.

Code 1950, § 46-248; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-235; 1972, c. 817; 1973, c. 288; 1981, c. 585; 1989, c. 727; 2001, cc. 170, 834; 2002, c. 254; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2006, cc. 529, 538; 2007, cc. 209, 366, 813.

§ 46.2-932.1. Duty of driver approaching blind pedestrian; effect of failure of blind person to carry white cane or use dog guide.

The driver of a vehicle approaching a totally or partially blind pedestrian who is carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip) or using a dog guide shall take all necessary precautions to avoid injury to such blind pedestrian and dog guide, and any driver who fails to take such precautions shall be liable in damages for any injury caused such pedestrian and dog guide; provided that a totally or partially blind pedestrian not carrying such a cane or using a dog guide in any of the places, accommodations or conveyances listed in § 51.5-44, shall have all of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon other persons, and the failure of a totally or partially blind pedestrian to carry such a cane or to use a dog guide in any such places, accommodations or conveyances shall not be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence; provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the application of § 46.2-933 or § 46.2-934.

1972, c. 156, § 63.1-171.3; 1975, c. 473; 2002, c. 747.

§ 46.2-933. When vehicles to stop for pedestrian guided by dog or carrying white, red-tipped white, or metallic cane.

Whenever a totally or partially blind pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross a highway in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-923 is guided by a dog guide or carrying a cane which is predominantly metallic or white in color, with or without a red tip, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place of crossing shall bring his vehicle to a full stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing, unless such intersection or place of crossing is controlled by a law-enforcement officer or traffic light. Any person violating any provision of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 46-249.1; 1950, p. 1520; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-237; 1964, c. 20; 1975, c. 117; 1982, c. 681; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 555.

§ 46.2-934. Failure to use cane or guide dog not contributory negligence.

Nothing contained in § 46.2-933 shall be construed to deprive any totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person not carrying such a cane or walking stick or not being guided by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing highways. Nor shall the failure of such totally or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person to carry a cane or walking stick, or to be guided by a guide dog on the highways or sidewalks of the Commonwealth, be held to constitute nor be evidence of contributory negligence.

Code 1950, § 46-249.3; 1950, p. 1521; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-240; 1975, c. 117; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-935. Regulation by ordinance in counties, cities, and towns.

The governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns may enact ordinances requiring pedestrians to obey signs and signals erected on highways therein for the direction and control of traffic, to obey the orders of law-enforcement officers engaged in directing traffic on such highways, and may provide penalties not exceeding those of a traffic infraction.

Code 1950, § 46-250; 1950, p. 942; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-241; 1968, c. 165; 1989, c. 727.