Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio legislature: Restore pedestrian rights of way in traffic signal laws

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The pedestrian laws were changed effective June, 2012 with Ohio House Bill 349 to incorporate changes related to an update of the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In particular, Ohio Revised Code 4511.14 was updated to remove the requirement that pedestrians facing a WALK signal "shall be given the right-of-way by operators of all vehicles", replaced with the requirement that "the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that the walking person signal indication is first shown." Similar changes were made in Ohio revised code 4511.13 regarding right and left turns on red and requiring pedestrians to yield at the start of the green signal and yellow flashing arrow (a new signal type).

Children are taught to walk when they see the WALK signal. Pedestrians who are blind expect to be given the right of way when they hear the audible signal. Vehicle operators should always yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased by 10% each year since 2008. 115 pedestrians were killed on Ohio roads in 2012. Pedestrian right-of-way must be restored in our traffic laws.