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Pedestrian Law

Driving Near Pedestrians

Drivers are encouraged to share the road and be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially on rural roadways. Pedestrians can be difficult to see – especially at night.

When driving a vehicle, you must:

  • Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3230)
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when traffic-control signals are not in place or operation. (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3250)
  • Refrain from passing or overtaking a vehicle stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the road at a marked crosswalk. (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3130(d))
NHTSA Safety Tips for Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides these safety tips for drivers regarding pedestrian safety:

  • Look out for pedestrians everywhere, at all times.
  • Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
  • Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
  • Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you can’t see.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present.
  • Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.

*NHTSA Pedestrian Safety -

When You Are a Pedestrian

Pedestrians should remember – Be Safe. Be Seen.

When you are a pedestrian, you are more difficult to see on the road. If you are on or near a roadway, especially at dawn or at dusk, consider wearing retro-reflective clothing to help increase your chances of being seen by motorists. It's important to remember that retro-reflective material works best when it's located on your body's extremities (for example, your wrists or ankles) because it will help drivers identify you as a person in low-light situations.

As a pedestrian, you must:

  • Follow any and all traffic control devices (ex: lights and signals)
  • Follow any and all local regulations.
  • Yield to traffic before crossing when there is not a crosswalk.
  • Follow the directions of any crossing signs or control devices.
  • Stay on the sidewalk if one is present. 
    • If no sidewalk is present, you must walk on the shoulder of the roadway.
  • Avoid freeways.
  • Walk as near as possible to the outside edge of the roadway.
    • If you are on a two-way roadway, walk only on the left side of the roadway when neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder are available.
  • Do not stand in the roadway.
  • Yield to emergency vehicles.
  • Stay off the roadway if you are dangerously intoxicated.
  • Stay off of bridges or railways where signals are present to warn off traffic.

For more information on laws pertaining to pedestrians, please visit Code of Laws - Title 56 - Chapter 5 - Uniform Act Regulating Traffic On Highways, Article 25.