5 Louisville Pedestrian Laws You May Not Have Known About
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on September 5, 2022
Having pedestrians and vehicles within the same close vicinity is always a risk. Sometimes, there are accidents, there is road rage, there are bad decisions made from both ends, and someone ends up injured. In Louisville, there have been plenty of road accidents between vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians – but you don’t have to be one of them, if you pay attention to pedestrian laws and the road, even when you’re not on it.
Keep a keen eye out when you walk and always be aware of your surroundings – you can prevent accidents by being aware as a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver simply by paying attention. Sometimes, the situations you may prevent aren’t by any fault of your own, but regardless of who is ultimately at fault, the consequences still occur all the same. If you’ve been in an accident, call 502-459-7555 or fill out a contact form on our website to get a consultation.
How do you know if you’re lawfully correct or not, though? Well, Kentucky Laws and Regulations for Pedestrians has an extended list of all the laws pertinent to pedestrians, but here’s our pick of 5 Louisville pedestrian laws that you may not have known about.
1. Pedestrian Law #1: Vehicles MUST Yield to Blind Pedestrians
- KRS 189.575: “Yielding right-of-way to blind pedestrian. The operator of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any blind pedestrian carrying a clearly visible white cane or accompanied by an assistance dog.”
It’s not a matter of common decency or morality – it’s a matter of law. Blind pedestrians have the right of way if they happen to wander into the street, even in situations where seeing pedestrians would not. Be sure to navigate a situation like this as carefully as possible: if you’re a bystander, offer help to the pedestrian. If you’re a driver, make sure vehicles behind you know that there is a blind pedestrian in the road – which is actually a law outlined in KRS 189.570 (5).
2. Pedestrian Law #2: Vehicles MUST honk their horns
- KRS 189.570 (^6) (d): “Notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection or the provisions of any local ordinance, every operator of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing a child or an obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.”
Well, perhaps not exactly what the law means, but it is mentioned that vehicles must utilize what they have in order to exercise due care in avoiding collisions, including sounding their horn. Remember: a collision will still happen whether it’s the pedestrian or the driver’s fault, so preventative and precautious measures must be taken when it comes to any pedestrian in the roadway, but especially confused, incapacitated, or young pedestrians.
3. Pedestrian Law #3: Pedestrians MUST use the right-half of crosswalks, when able to
- KRS 189.570 (11): “Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks.”
Whether this is to facilitate street movement between pedestrians or to keep everyone within the safe lines of the crosswalk, maintaining the ‘right side of the road’ concept in crosswalks greatly improves the mobility and safety of a crosswalk. Some stoplights don’t allow much time for perpendicular pedestrian movement, so complying with this particular law usually benefits everyone involved. This law may not seem like a law, like more of a suggestion than anything, but you may be surprised at how many ‘suggestions’ are really laws.
4. Pedestrian Law #4: Pedestrians MUST walk on the left-side of two-way roads and as far as possible to the edge of highways
- KRS 189.570 (14): “Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking on or along a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway, and, if on a two-way roadway shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.”
Most drivers would be surprised to see pedestrians walking along the shoulder of a highway, but it’s not illegal. It is dangerous, however, considering the increased speed of the vehicles along these roads. That is why it’s not legal to walk along the right side of a two-way road or near the road of a highway unless absolutely necessary. At that point, drivers should make attempts, if possible, to drive as far away from the shoulder as possible without endangering themselves.
5. Pedestrian Law #5: Under the influence pedestrians MUST NOT walk on highways, unless there is a sidewalk
- KRS 189.570 (16): “A pedestrian who is under the influence of alcohol or any kind of drug to a degree which renders himself a hazard shall not walk or be upon a highway except on a sidewalk.”
There is one caveat to legally walking along highways – pedestrian law states that you must be sober. If found walking along highways under the influence of drugs or alcohol, pedestrians could be put on the other side of the law. Sidewalks aren’t usually included as features of highways, so the probability that you’re unlawfully walking along the highway while under the influence is likely.
I Followed All the Laws, and Have Still Been Injured
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced injury attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of injury victims. Schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.