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Pedestrian Laws in Reno, NV

NRS 484B.280 describes the responsibilities drivers have to avoid collisions with pedestrians e.g. honking their horn if they can’t stop in time to avoid a collision.  If a driver does not follow these rules they may be held at least partly liable for colliding with a pedestrian regardless of whether the pedestrian had the right-of-way.  As a driver it is imperative to exercise caution and care when observing a pedestrian nearby.

                  Similarly, pedestrians must also follow certain rules in order to comply with Nevada law.  NRS 484.283 describes when pedestrians have the right-of-way.  Pedestrians must obey crosswalk signals and only walk when signaled to do so.  Id.  Intersections without marked crosswalks are still considered crosswalks and drivers must yield to pedestrians.  Id.  These intersections are referred to as “unmarked crosswalks”.  Pedestrians are not permitted to suddenly enter a crosswalk or run across it in front of oncoming traffic.  Id.

Blind pedestrians with a service animal or a white cane always have the right-of-way and drivers are required to come to a complete stop for them to cross a highway, street or road.  Non-blind pedestrians do not have this same right.  There are some instances when pedestrians do not have the right-of-way as described in NRS 484B.287.  Pedestrians must yield to drivers when crossing at a point in between adjacent intersections.  Id.  Similarly, when crossing a highway, pedestrians must yield to drivers if not in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.  Id. Pedestrians crossing a highway via a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing must yield to drivers.  Id.

Pedestrians are also governed by Nevada law when walking next to highways.  Pedestrians must use sidewalks when available.  Id.  When sidewalks are not available next to a highway, pedestrians must walk on the left side facing oncoming traffic.  Id.  Intoxicated pedestrians are prohibited from walking within the traveled portion of a highway.  Id.  Pedestrians are not allowed to stand in the highway to solicit a ride or business from drivers.  Id.  However, the legality of hitchhiking in Nevada is unclear.  See

In Anderson v. Baltrusaitus, appellant was struck near an intersection by respondent causing him severe injury.  Here respondent was initially granted summary judgment by the district court because appellant was slightly outside of the unmarked crosswalk when he was struck.  Id.  However, upon appeal this decision was reversed due to multiple factors that proved the driver was also negligent and could have prevented the accident by exercising proper caution.  Id.  This case confirms the importance for drivers to always be careful around pedestrians as the consequences can be life-altering or fatal.

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