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San Antonio Questions: Here are the laws pedestrians need to know

City ordinance protects vulnerable road users

SAN ANTONIO – You asked. We answered. As part of KSAT’s San Antonio Questions project, a viewer named Mike wanted the answer to the following question:

“If there's no physical sidewalk while walking, are you allowed to walk on the street?”

KSAT.com web producer Ivan Herrera dug deeper to find out the state's pedestrian laws and even found a San Antonio ordinance that protects pedestrians and other people on the road.

Here’s what he found:

The state of Texas has a pedestrian law that allows people to walk on the street if there isn’t a sidewalk, but you need to walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.

State law says you should stay on the right-hand side of crosswalks when crossing a roadway. Pedestrians must also yield to vehicles on the roadway if crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk.

If you’re hit while jaywalking, the driver may not be liable, according to the state law.

San Antonio has its own ordinance protecting what the city calls “vulnerable road users.” Those users include pedestrians and skaters, construction, maintenance or utility workers, or any workers with legitimate business in or near the road. People on horseback, bicyclists and scooters riders are protected, too.

The city ordinance states drivers must move to a different lane if a vulnerable road user is on the highway or other road with two or more lanes running in the same direction. Otherwise, drivers are allowed to pass that person or people at a safe distance.

When road conditions allow, the ordinance states, drivers of passenger cars or light trucks must maintain a safe distance of 3 feet from vulnerable road users. Drivers of commercial vehicles or trucks other than light trucks must maintain a distance of 6 feet.

Anyone who violates the city ordinance may be subject to a class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $200.

For more information about the state law, click here.

To view the entire city ordinance, click here.  

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