As someone who lives, works and plays within Minneapolis, I am no stranger to the crosswalk. They’re everywhere, helping to make the city easier to navigate for all. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian using these crosswalks can be a bit tricky, however. Here, we can help you make sense of it all.
Pedestrian Responsibilities When Entering or Exiting a Crosswalk
Minnesota has statutes (169.21) in place that outline your responsibilities when using crosswalks along your commute. The highlights of these statutes are as follows:
- If you’re crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or an intersection without a marked crosswalk, you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.
- If you’re crossing between adjacent intersections and traffic signals are present, you must only cross in a marked crosswalk.
- You must use the right half of the crosswalk when it’s practical.
- If no crosswalk is present, you must walk on the left side of the roadway or the shoulder. And you must use sidewalks when they are present.
Unmarked Crosswalks: Where Can You Cross?
It is legal for pedestrians to cross at any intersection, even those without marked crosswalks. This is especially important to remember in Minneapolis. Currently, Hennepin County only marks county streets with lights and/or signs. No markings? You can still cross. And, under Minnesota law, you have the right-of-way.
Motor Vehicle Responsibilities
Minnesota requires that motor vehicle drivers “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle or pedestrian upon any roadway and give an audible signal when necessary.”
Drivers must also yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the road either in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection without a marked crosswalk. They must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed their lane.
Your Legal Rights
Some crashes involving pedestrians that occur near crosswalks are caused by negligent drivers. For example, they may fail to yield to pedestrians when no crosswalk is present. Unfortunately, these crashes are often life-altering for pedestrians, as they don’t have the same physical protection as a motor vehicle driver.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle, you have the right to reach out for legal help even though Minnesota is a no-fault state. In Minnesota, you must file your claim within two years of the accident.
Pedestrian in Minnesota? We’re Here to Help You Protect Your Rights.
As a pedestrian using the busy streets of Minnesota, you have rights. Whether you want to learn more about those rights or you’ve been hurt in an accident, know that my team and I are here to support you. These are our streets after all.
Attorney Daniel J. Brazil of Brazil Law Group is an experienced personal injury attorney with offices located in Uptown. He’s also a member of the Bike Law Network. He has a passion for the outdoors, especially cycling and climbing. Learn more about Dan and his practice by following him on Twitter (@LawDanielBrazil and #MplsBikeAttorney).