Safe on Foot: A Guide to Pedestrian Crosswalks in Tampa

  • May 7, 2024
  • Reading time: 5 mins read
  • By Arunima
crosswalk guide for tampa vacation

Is visiting Tampa, Florida on your bucket list? Or do you like roaming on your feet? Pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of the road. Every day, at least 430 people on foot will be treated in an emergency room for injuries.

Although there are facilities like pedestrian accident lawyer in Tampa, yet, being safe must still be your utmost priority. 

With that in mind, familiarizing with laws laid for pedestrians is worth considering. Florida law 316.130¹ lists the road rules for them. These rules apply to all people on foot.

To help you do so safely and lessen your research, we are here with a comprehensive guide that thoroughly discusses pedestrians, types of crosswalks, requirements under the law, general right-of-way rules, and tips for crosswalks. 

Pedestrian in Tampa, Florida

Recently, Florida pedestrian statute 316.130 sets out the laws and provisions for people on foot. According to the law, in addition to walkers and runners, a pedestrian is anyone in a wheelchair, using rollerblades or skates, or on a skateboard.

Remember, bicyclists are not considered pedestrians and Florida has different sets of laws for them.

Do You Know?:
According to the reports from 2018 through 2020, there were approximately 82,359 traffic crashes in Hillsborough County. And, these crashes resulted in 1,888 pedestrian accidents.

Types of Pedestrian Crosswalks in Tampa

Pedestrian facilities in Florida are of two types:

At Intersection

These are marked crosswalks on all side streets. Especially, tagged where a pedestrian facility meets the roadway. On the contrary, these marks signify motorists that they need to stop. 

Ever since there has been an increase in roadway volumes, speeds, and the number of travel lanes, these are best used in conjunction with other treatments like signals, signs,

beacons, curb extensions, raised medians, etc.

Midblock Crossblocks

Most commonly known as midblock cross blocks, these can be used to supplement the pedestrian crossing needs in an area between intersections. Since midblock cross blocks are located at an intersection, these would be a logical extension of the sidewalk. 

And, provide passersby with a more direct route to their destination. 

Pedestrian Requirements Under Florida Law 

Having said that, there are separate rules for pedestrian traffic regulations under Florida law 316.130. Accordingly, this law applies to all whether or not you have a driver’s license.

Under this rule, people on foot are guided to observe red lights and walk signals. In contrast, drivers must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. 

Here is the list of actions to be followed when roaming on the roads of Tampa, Florida:

You’ll Need to Follow Traffic Control Signals 

Wandering here and there without following traffic control signals is not ideal at all and against Florida law 316.130(1). If you have just visited Tampa and are roaming on your foot, then you must obey traffic control devices. 

In case, a police officer is at the scene but conveying different instructions, then follow the police officer’s command.

Use the Sidewalks

If available, it violates Florida law 316.130(3) for pedestrians to walk on the street. This law clearly instructs them to use sidewalks. 

Even the law states that there may be exceptions in situations that still require them to walk on the road. Let’s say, in an emergency or when the sidewalk is inaccessible for any reason. 

Walk of the Road Rules Only if There Are No Sidewalks 

Florida law 316.130(4) mentioned that pedestrians may walk by the side of the road if there are no sidewalks by a road or highway.

Also, they must walk against the flow of traffic and on the left side of the road (far from vehicles).

Soliciting Is Prohibited, Especially on Paved Roadway

On the paved roads used for vehicular traffic in Tampa, soliciting is prohibited as per Florida statute 316.130(5).

To put it simply, people can’t solicit rides, a job, or business from those traveling in vehicles. 

Do Not Run Into Traffic

As per Florida law 316.130(8), pedestrians should not leave the curb away from traffic to run into the lane of travel. Not only is this harmful but it also counts as an action against the law. 

Statistics:
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report, in the first half of 2021, pedestrian accident fatalities increased by 31% in Florida. 

Statistics

Must Yield to Traffic 

Pedestrians in Tampa have the right of way in a crosswalk. Regardless of this fact, still, they are still supposed to wait until the coast is clear prior to entering the path of travel.

If there is traffic, people on foot may yield the right of way to that vehicle according to Florida law 316.130(10).

Use Shortest Lane of Travel

Florida law 316.130(12) requires people who walk to cross using the shortest route possible when there are no marked crosswalks. 

According to this law, they have to walk at right angles perpendicular to the road and cross the road in the shortest distance possible. 

Pedestrian Tips For Crosswalks at Tampa 

To help you stay safe as a pedestrian in Tampa, we have listed some fruitful tips that not only safeguard but even prevent you from facing legal consequences: 

  • People on foot must choose to cross the road at marked crosswalks.
  • Honestly follow traffic signals. Look left, right, and left again to ensure the road is clear to cross.
Look Both Ways Before Crossing 
  • In case, a vehicle is approaching you, then ensure the driver sees you.
  • Be sure all the lanes are clear.
  • Watch out for traffic from all directions.
  • Always remember, that bicyclists are not considered pedestrians as long as they walk their bicycles across the road.

Conclusion

The city of Tampa is known for providing safe streets for residents and visitors. All together, has a role in increasing Tampa road safety. Still, the legal principle of comparative negligence applies in Florida.

When sharing roads, be it a driver or a pedestrian should do their part to keep roads safe. So, drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike can enjoy communities.




Arunima
Arunima

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