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A Brief Overview of Pedestrian Rights in Venice Florida

Jaywalking is something that became popular back in the 1920s, around the time the automobile industry began thriving. However, 80% of people still decided to walk. This made it harder for new drivers to navigate the roadways.

Venice, Florida, is full of pedestrian charm, and Historic Downtown Venice on Venice Island at the center of the city, is a big pedestrian and bicycle-heavy locale, with many things within walking or biking distance, including the Gulf Beaches.

It is a thriving community that attracts tourists and seasonal residents year-round who can easily walk or bike to visit everything the city offers. With this much foot traffic, it is important to understand the laws and rights of pedestrians in Venice.

Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Today, jaywalking refers to crossing where there is no crosswalk, crossing against traffic signals, and failing to yield. Jaywalking is not a legal term in the state, and crossing mid-block, referred to as jaywalking, is legal in many locations.

In 2021, Florida ranked second in the nation for pedestrian deaths. In the first half of 2021 alone, there was a 31% increase in pedestrian fatalities, which resulted in 444 pedestrian deaths within that short timeframe.

According to another report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities are becoming more and more common in Florida and across the US.

According to a data analysis, it was reported that the amount of pedestrian deaths amoung children under 15 due to speeding has more than doubled since 2018. There are also reports of increased reckless driving behaviors, a lack of safe crossings, and limited pedestrian visibility due to the lack of lighting and other safety strategies.

A Pedestrian’s Duty of Care

There are key traffic principles that both pedestrians and motorists in Venice should follow when sharing roadways, especially when attempting to cross roads like Jacuranda Blvd, Tamiami Trail, Center Road or Venice Avenue.

Right of Way and Due Care: Traffic laws say who should yield the right of way. This must be exercised reasonably with due care, keeping pedestrian and motorist safety in mind.

Yield at Crosswalks: A pedestrian can cross at mid-block sections but still need to yield the right of way outside a crosswalk. The pedestrian must yield if there is an approaching motorist and no crosswalk.

Must Use Sidewalk: Pedestrians should stay out of the roadways if a sidewalk is provided.

Pedestrians don’t always have the right of way in Florida. A pedestrian can’t enter a crosswalk any time they want to. Drivers must have adequate time and distance to stop, and the pedestrian needs to wait for the WALK sign to flash before proceeding.

How Pedestrian Laws Can Impact a Claim

When you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian in Venice, the injuries and damages are often severe. While many believe pedestrians always have the right of way, we have discovered above this isn’t always the case.

So, a pedestrian can be found solely or partially at fault for this kind of accident. If you are partially responsible, you may not be entitled to compensation, or the amount may be much lower.

Drivers have to follow all traffic signs and signals, including stopping at a red light. They must also be prepared to stop when the light is yellow. In the same respect, pedestrians also have to follow the WALK and NO WALKING signs when they come to the crosswalk at an intersection.

If pedestiran signals are not visible, then the pedestrian must follow all traffic signals and cross only when it is clear and safe.

Pedestrian Safety

When crossing, you should look both ways twice before entering the road. If you have the right of way as a pedestrian, you still want to try to make eye contact with an oncoming motorist to ensure visibility before crossing.

You also shouldn’t cross a road diagonally unless a traffic control officer allows it. Always take care when watching for motorists to make sure everyone stays safe.

When you violate pedestrian laws in Venice, you can be charged with a noncriminal traffic infraction, and you may have to pay a fine. However, if you were hit and it was the motorist’s fault, you can collect compensation from the party responsible for your injuries.

A local qualified, and experienced auto accident attorney can help you determine who is at fault and responsible for all your medical bills, lost wages, permanent injuries, and pain and suffering.

Stephen M. Fernandez developed a strong belief in justice and fairness in public policy while earning his Political Science degree prior to attending law school. Since joining the Florida Bar Association in 2004, Stephen Fernandez has combined his background in public policy, business administration and civil law to serve as a highly effective trial lawyer fighting for Florida's injured, working hard every day to make sure his clients get what they are owed.

A Brief Overview of Pedestrian Rights in Venice Florida

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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