What are the Pedestrian Laws in Illinois?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - August 26, 2021
Pedestrians have rights on and around the roadways in Illinois. However, they do not have free reign. Just like drivers, pedestrians have to follow various laws in order to maintain their safety and the safety of others around them. Here, we want to look specifically at the laws in Illinois that relate to pedestrians. It is crucial for drivers and pedestrians alike to understand the basics of these laws so that everyone can play a role and keeping each other safe.
Laws Designed to Keep Pedestrians Safe in Illinois
Data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that there were almost 4,800 pedestrian crashes that occurred during the latest reporting year across this state. Unfortunately, more than 4,500 of these incidents resulted in some sort of injury for the pedestrian involved.
The state of Illinois has several laws in place, imposed on drivers and pedestrians alike, designed to keep pedestrians safe.
Walking on the Roadway
When there is a sidewalk available, pedestrians are required to use it. However, if there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the shoulder of the road if possible. Pedestrians should always walk as close to the outside edge of the road as they safely can, and in two-way traffic, pedestrians should walk facing oncoming traffic.
When we turn to the Illinois code of laws, we can see that pedestrians generally have the right of way, but there are limits. When there are traffic signals or crosswalks in place, pedestrians are required to use them appropriately. Failing to use a crosswalk when there is one present could mean that a pedestrian will be found liable in the event an accident occurs.
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-1002(a), we see that “…the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.”
Pedestrians are not allowed to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of moving vehicles in Illinois. When a pedestrian needs to cross an area where there is no crosswalk, they are required to yield the right of way to any vehicle close enough to pose an immediate danger.
Most jurisdictions throughout Illinois do have laws about illegally crossing roads. These laws can include:
- Jaywalking statutes
- Crossing outside of a crosswalk when one is available
- Crossing against a traffic signal
- Walking on a roadway while intoxicated
- Failing to use the sidewalk when one is available
- Walking along highways or interstates
Violations of state and local laws could result in a pedestrian sustaining severe injuries if a collision with a vehicle occurs. Additionally, law enforcement officials could issue citations and fine a pedestrian for breaking the law.
In the state of Illinois, it is illegal to stand on the side of the road and ask for a ride (in other words, hitchhiking is illegal). If a person is arrested or cited for hitchhiking in this state, they could face a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
If you’ve suffered injuries as a pedestrian, consult with our pedestrian injury attorneys in Chicago today.