Maryland Pedestrians’ Rights and Rules

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Maryland Pedestrians’ Rights and Rules (As of October 1, 2017)

Maryland Transportation Article 21-501 – 21-511 define the rules and rights for pedestrians. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact our pedestrian injury lawyers to discuss your rights and if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries.

TA §21–501. Pedestrians Subject to Traffic Regulations

At an intersection, a pedestrian is subject to all traffic control signals, as provided in §21-202 and 21-203 of this title. However, at any other place, a pedestrian has the rights and is subject to the restrictions stated in this title.

TA §21–501.1. Person Using EPAMD or Wheelchair Subject to Traffic Regulations

(a) At an intersection, a person using an EPAMD is subject to all traffic control signals, as provided in §§ 21-202 and 21-203 of this title. However, at any other place, a person using an EPAMD has the rights and is subject to the restrictions applicable to pedestrians under this title.
(b) At an intersection, a person using a wheelchair is subject to all traffic control signals, as provided in §§ 21-202 and 21-203 of this title. However, at any other place, a person using a wheelchair has the rights and is subject to the restrictions applicable to pedestrians under this title.

TA §21–502. Pedestrians’ Right-of-Way in Crosswalks

(a)(1) This subsection does not apply where:
(i) A pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, as described in §21–503(b) of this subtitle; or
(ii) A traffic control signal is in operation.
(2) The driver of a vehicle shall come to a stop when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:
(i) On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling; or
(ii) Approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half of the roadway.
(b) A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
(c) If, at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a vehicle is stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
(d) A person may not commit a violation of subsection (a) or (c) of this section that contributes to an accident.
(e) A person convicted of a violation of subsection (d) of this section is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 2 months or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

TA §21–503. Crossing At Other Than Crosswalks

(a) If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
(b) If a pedestrian crosses a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching on the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which a traffic control signal is in operation, a pedestrian may cross a roadway only in a marked crosswalk.
(d) A pedestrian may not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by a traffic control device for crossing movements. If authorized to cross diagonally, a pedestrian may cross only in accordance with the traffic control device.

TA §21–504. Drivers to Exercise Due Care

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall, if necessary, warn any pedestrian by sounding the horn of the vehicle.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the driver of a vehicle shall exercise proper precaution on observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated individual.

TA §21–505. Pedestrians To Use Right Half of Crosswalks

If practicable, a pedestrian shall walk on the right half of a crosswalk.

TA §21–506. Pedestrians on Roadways

(a) Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.
(b) Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian who walks along and on a highway may walk only on the left shoulder, if practicable, or on the left side of the roadway, as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway, facing any traffic that might approach from the opposite direction.

TA §21–507. Certain Activities By Pedestrians Prohibited

(a) Except for the occupant of a disabled vehicle who seeks the aid of another vehicle, a person may not stand in a roadway to solicit a ride, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle.
(b) A person may not stand on or near a highway to solicit any other person to watch or guard any vehicle while it is parked or about to be parked on a highway.
(c) In Carroll County, Charles County, Harford County, and Washington County, a person may not stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(d)(1) This subsection applies to Prince George’s County.
(2)(i) A person may not stand in a highway to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(ii) An adult may not cause, encourage, allow, or petition a child under the age of 15 years to violate subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
(iii) In this paragraph, “highway” includes:
1.   Rights–of–way, roadway surfaces, roadway subgrades, shoulders, median dividers, drainage facilities and structures, related stormwater management facilities and structures, roadway cuts, roadway fills, guardrails, bridges, highway grade separation structures, railroad grade separations, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, entrance plazas, approaches, and other structures forming an integral part of a street, road, or highway, including bicycle and walking paths; and
2.   Any other property acquired for the construction, operation, or use of the highway.
(3) A child under the age of 15 years may not be found guilty or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of paragraph (2)(i) of this subsection if an adult caused, encouraged, allowed, or petitioned the child in violation of paragraph (2)(ii) of this subsection.
(4) This subsection shall be enforced:
(i) By the issuance of a warning that informs the offender of the requirements of this subsection if it is the offender’s first violation; and
(ii) Under §27–101 of this article if it is the offender’s second or subsequent violation.
(e)(1) This subsection applies to Anne Arundel County.
(2)(i) A person may not stand in a highway to:
1. Solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle; or
2. Advertise any message.
(ii) “Highway” includes:
1. Rights–of–way, roadway surfaces, roadway subgrades, shoulders, median dividers, drainage facilities and structures, related stormwater management facilities and structures, roadway cuts, roadway fills, guardrails, bridges, highway grade separation structures, railroad grade separations, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, entrance plazas, approaches, and other structures forming an integral part of a street, road, or highway, including bicycle and walking paths; and
2. Any other property acquired for the construction, operation, or use of the highway.
(f)(1) This subsection applies only to Allegany County and Cecil County.
(2) In this subsection, “qualified organization” means a fire company or bona fide religious, fraternal, civic, war veterans’, or charitable organization.
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, a person may not:
(i) Stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle; or
(ii) Cause, encourage, allow, or petition another to stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(4)(i) The governing body of a county or the governing body of a municipal corporation in a county may, by appropriate resolution or ordinance, enact a permit program to allow individuals who are at least 18 years old and representatives of qualified organizations who are at least 18 years old to solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle by standing in a roadway, median divider, or intersection in the county or municipal corporation.
(ii) If the governing body of a county or of a municipal corporation in the county enacts a resolution or ordinance establishing a permit program authorized by this paragraph, the resolution or ordinance shall:
1. Require an applicant for a permit to submit proof that the individual or qualified organization has a plan for safely soliciting money or donations from the proposed location;
2. Provide that a permit is effective for:
A. A period of 1 calendar day in Cecil County; or
B. A period not to exceed 5 calendar days in Allegany County; and
3. Allow an individual or a qualified organization to obtain only one permit in the county or municipal corporation per calendar year.
(g)(1) This subsection applies only in Montgomery County.
(2)(i) A child under the age of 18 years may not stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit or collect money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(ii) This paragraph shall be enforced by the issuance of a warning that informs the offender of the requirements of this paragraph.
(3)(i) The Montgomery County Council may enact a local law to require a person to obtain a permit before the person may stand in a roadway or median divider or on a sidewalk adjacent to a roadway to solicit and collect money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(ii) If a permit is required under a local law enacted under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, except in compliance with a permit obtained in accordance with the local law, a person may not:
1. Stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection, or on a sidewalk adjacent to a roadway, to solicit or collect money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle; or
2. Cause, encourage, allow, or petition a person to stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection, or on a sidewalk adjacent to a roadway, to solicit or collect money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(iii) A local law enacted under this section may not authorize a permit to be issued to a minor for the purpose of standing in a roadway or median divider to solicit or collect money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(iv) A permit issued under a local law enacted under this section shall apply to the solicitation and collection of money or donations on roadways, median dividers, and sidewalks adjacent to roadways and may not limit the authorization to fewer than all three of those locations.
(h)(1) The County Council of Baltimore County or the governing body of a municipal corporation in Baltimore County, by appropriate resolution or ordinance, may enact a permit program to allow a person to stand in a roadway, median divider, or intersection to solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle.
(2) At least 15 days before the date on which the permit applied for is to be effective, an applicant shall file with the county or municipal corporation an application that contains the following information:
(i) The name, address, and age of each person who will solicit;
(ii) The name and address of the employing or sponsoring person, agency, or entity;
(iii) The exact location where each solicitor will be assigned;
(iv) The purpose of the solicitation;
(v) The time frame and duration of the solicitation;
(vi) The means of travel to and from the place of solicitation; and
(vii) The name, address, and telephone number of a contact person who will be able to provide additional information to the county or municipal corporation or its designee.
(3) The county or municipal corporation shall examine each application and make any further investigation as deemed necessary in order to determine the truth of the statements made on the application.
(4) The county or municipal corporation shall deny the permit if it determines that:
(i) Any statement made on the application is untrue; or
(ii) The location or method of the solicitation or its duration are such that it will be harmful to the health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the general public.
(5) A permit issued under this subsection shall contain:
(i) The name and address of the person making the solicitation;
(ii) The date and time at which the person may solicit; and
(iii) A statement that the permit does not constitute an endorsement by the county or municipal corporation of the solicitation or the person conducting the solicitation.
(6) A permit shall be signed by the appropriate county or municipal officer.
(7) The term of a permit may not exceed 24 hours.
(8) No more than 12 permits may be issued to the same person in a calendar year.
(9) The county or municipal corporation shall send a copy of each permit issued by the county or municipal corporation to the police department of the county or municipal corporation.
(10) A person to whom a permit is issued shall conspicuously display the permit while soliciting.
(i) In Howard County, a person may not stand in a State highway or the highway right–of–way to solicit money or donations of any kind from the occupant of a vehicle.
(j)(1) This subsection applies only in Frederick County.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, a person may not stand in a roadway, a median divider, or an intersection to solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle.
(3) The county or a municipal corporation in the county may by ordinance enact a permit program to allow a person to stand in a roadway, a median divider, or an intersection to solicit money or donations from the occupant of a vehicle if the solicitation occurs completely in the county or municipal corporation.
(4) If the county or a municipal corporation enacts an ordinance establishing a permit program, the ordinance shall require a person seeking a permit to file an application containing the following information:
(i) The date, time, and location of the solicitation;
(ii) The manner and conditions under which the solicitation is to occur; and
(iii) The name, address, and telephone number of a contact person of the employing or sponsoring person, agency, or entity on whose behalf the solicitation is to be made, who will be able to provide additional information to the county, municipal corporation, or the designee of the county or municipal corporation.
(5) The county or municipal corporation:
(i) Within 5 days after the application is filed, shall approve or deny the application; and
(ii) May impose conditions on the solicitation.

TA §21–508. Driving Through Safety Zone Prohibited

A vehicle may not be driven at any time through or in a safety zone.

TA §21–509. Controlled Access Highways

(a) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk along a controlled access highway.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk on a controlled access highway.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk along a ramp leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(d) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk on a ramp leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(e) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk along an access road leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(f) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a pedestrian may not walk on an access road leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(g) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a person may not leave any vehicle that is on a controlled access highway.
(h) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a person may not leave any vehicle that is on a ramp leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(i) Except as provided in subsection (j) of this section, a person may not leave any vehicle that is on an access road leading to or from a controlled access highway.
(j) This section does not apply to a person if an emergency prevents the movement of a vehicle in which he is riding and the person goes only to the nearest telephone or other source of assistance, nor to a person boarding or leaving a bus within a bus stop approved by the State Highway Administration.

TA §21–510. Pedestrians to Yield Right-of-Way To Emergency Vehicles

(a) A pedestrian who crosses a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to any approaching emergency vehicle that is using audible and visual signals that meet the requirements of §22-218 of this article.
(b) A pedestrian who crosses a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to any approaching police vehicle that is lawfully using an audible signal.
(c) This section does not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons.

TA §21–511. Right-of-Way of Blind or Deaf Pedestrians

(a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to:
(1) A blind or partially blind pedestrian using a guide dog or carrying a cane predominantly white or metallic in color (with or without a red tip);
(2) A deaf or hearing impaired pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog; or
(3) A mobility impaired individual crossing a roadway while using any of the following mobility-assisted devices:
(i) A manual or motorized wheelchair;
(ii) A motorized scooter;
(iii) Crutches; or
(iv) A cane.
(b) A person who is not blind or partially blind may not use or carry a white cane, a cane that is white tipped with red, or a chrome, nickel, aluminum, or other reflecting or shining metal cane, in the manner described in subsection (a)(1) of this section.

Pedestrians Case Law in Maryland

  • Pratt v. Coleman – Vehicles has right-of-way between street crossings in towns and cities.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Maryland may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.

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