April 1 Is National Walking Day! Know Your Rights as a Pedestrian.

 In Personal Injury

Spring has sprung. Warmer weather is (hopefully) on its way. That means it’s time for more people to get out of their homes and offices and into the fresh air. It’s time for less sitting and more walking.

If walking isn’t necessarily your thing, perhaps you might consider penciling in a special walk on your calendar? If you do, aim for tomorrow. Why? Because it’s National Walking Day!

National Walking Day falls on the first Wednesday in April each year. The American Heart Association uses this day to raise awareness around the many benefits of walking, including decreased risk of heart disease and stroke.

We highly encourage you to get on your feet and go for a 30-minute walk tomorrow. Make sure you wear the right shoes and comfortable clothes. And make sure you know your rights.

Minnesota’s Pedestrian Rights & Responsibilities

Minnesota is a leader in non-motorized transportation. People are out in droves on foot and on bike. But often pedestrians and drivers alike are not quite clear about the rules of the road when it comes to pedestrians.

Thankfully, Minnesota’s pedestrian roadway use and crosswalk laws are fairly straightforward:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way at all marked crosswalks and unmarked intersections
  • Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and signs
  • Pedestrians must not enter a crosswalk if it is clear an approaching vehicle will be unable to stop
  • A driver can proceed after the pedestrian has fully crossed the lane in front of the driver
  • Drivers of other vehicles cannot pass a vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk
  • Pedestrians must use a sidewalk when it is provided and accessible
  • Pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road or its shoulder when sidewalks are not available (walk against oncoming traffic)

Failure to follow these laws creates a significant danger to yourself, drivers and passengers. Additionally, failure to obey crosswalk laws can result in the conviction of a misdemeanor. So do yourself and everyone else a favor and get familiar with these laws. Know where you should be and understand who has the right of way.

Are You Ready to Get Walking?

Walking is good for your health and your soul. Plan to walk 30 minutes each day. You can break that up into short walks or use it for one nice, long stroll around your neighborhood.

When you do get out, keep an eye for errant drivers and know your rights. And if you have questions, or want to talk more about your pedestrian rights, contact our Minneapolis law firm.

Sources: The Minnesota Crosswalk Law: Key Elements by the Minnesota Safety Council; Pedestrian Laws under Minnesota Statute 169.21

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