With so many kinds of crosswalks in the Tampa Bay area, it’s not surprising some drivers get confused about when to stop, and when stopping isn’t required.
Florida’s laws regarding crosswalks apply across the board: a pedestrian has the right of way the moment he or she enters the crosswalk.
In all scenarios, drivers must stop if a pedestrian is already in the crosswalk, or steps into the crosswalk, on your approach and is on the same side of the road as your vehicle. Drivers also must stop of a pedestrian is in the crosswalk and approaching the driver’s left side. If a pedestrian has neglected to activate flashing crossing signals, motorists are still required to stop
In an intersection without a stop sign, traffic signal, or pedestrian beacons, drivers do not have to stop if no one is in the crosswalk, or if pedestrians are on the curb. However, it’s the driver’s responsibility to use caution.
A News Channel 8 viewer also asked why some pedestrian beacons are only positioned on one side of pedestrian-crossing signage. He mentioned that when the beacons are to the left of the pedestrian, it’s more difficult to verify the lights are flashing. The City of Tampa’s Traffic Management team points out that the signs feature an audible tone that beeps when the lights are activated.
Read the Florida Statute regarding crosswalks and pedestrian safety at this link.