(866) 984-0113 call for your free personal
injury case consultation
Click for your free personal injury consultation
Click for your free personal injury consultation

What Are The Pedestrian Right Of Way Laws In Kentucky?

May 6, 2024

Kentucky law seeks to protect pedestrians near the roadways. Drivers are required by law to slow down or stop for pedestrians near the roadway, and they are not allowed to go past other drivers who have already stopped for pedestrians. 

On the other side of the equation are the pedestrians. Drivers have to follow laws and so do pedestrians. There are specific traffic indicators pedestrians must pay attention to.

Understanding the Basic Rules

Pedestrian accidents in Kentucky

In Kentucky, pedestrians have the right of way in most scenarios, particularly at crosswalks and intersections, whether they are marked or not. Here are some key points every pedestrian should be aware of:

  • Pedestrians must obey traffic control devices unless otherwise directed by a police officer or traffic control signal.
  • When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation (defective or disabled), the driver of a vehicle must yield the right of way by slowing down or coming to a stop if a pedestrian is crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.
  • No pedestrian should quickly leave a curb or other place of safety (there isn’t always a curb) and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which that is so close that it’s not possible for the driver to yield.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

Ensuring safety on the road is a shared responsibility, and pedestrians need to play their part. Here are several tips for pedestrians to stay safe:

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks whenever available.
  • Always look left, right, then left again before crossing a street, and keep watching as you cross.
  • Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
  • Avoid major distractions such as phones or music devices that take your attention off the road.

Just a little note about a little oddity written into Kentucky law – pedestrians are actually prohibited from standing on the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, employment, or contributions.

A Note About Personal Technology

Nearly all of us have some type of personal electronic device with us most of the time. These devices help connect us to others on a constant basis, and they help give us great media options whenever we want them. However, these devices, along with smartwatches and earbuds, can create significant distractions for pedestrians.

Pedestrians and drivers alike should follow the laws and remain alert at all times. Remaining alert becomes more challenging when we are tethered to our technology. We encourage all Kentucky pedestrians to use their technology wisely and in a way that allows them to continuously pay attention to their surroundings when they are walking, jogging, or running around vehicles. In congested areas, places where vehicle accidents are more likely to occur, it is in everyone’s best interests to minimize distractions and pay attention to the surroundings.

Special Situations: School Zones and Blind Pedestrians

Kentucky law provides additional protections for pedestrians in school zones and for blind pedestrians. Drivers must follow specific speed limits in school zones (or face major fines and potential criminal charges) and must yield the right of way to blind pedestrians carrying a white cane or accompanied by a guide dog. Speak to a Lexington injury attorney to learn more.