Is it Legal to Jaywalk in Maryland?

By Harold Dwin on February 6, 2024 | In Personal Injury

Is Jaywalking Legal in Maryland?

You won’t find the word “jaywalking” in Maryland state laws, but there are penalties for pedestrians who cross the street illegally. Jaywalking, or improper road crossing, can lead to injuries or loss of life, with an average of 125 pedestrians dying from their injuries each year statewide. By understanding the crosswalk rules in Maryland and other pedestrian safety regulations, drivers of motor vehicles and pedestrians can help prevent tragedies. 

Maryland Laws on Pedestrian Crossings 

It is the responsibility of pedestrians and drivers to know and understand Maryland pedestrian safety regulations. According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, these are the pedestrian traffic laws under the Maryland code for pedestrians crossing the street: 

  • Always cross at a marked crosswalk at an intersection when available.
  • Use pedestrian tunnels or overhead walkways to cross the road when available.
  • Cross at a traffic control signal or stop sign at intersections without marked crosswalks.
  • Cross on the green “walk” signal. Do not start crossing with a red “don’t walk,” and if it flashes red when crossing, proceed with caution.
  • Only cross the roadway intersection diagonally (from one corner to the other) at an intersection if there is a special traffic signal to cross diagonally.
  • Follow a traffic officer’s signals on roads without marked crosswalks or if the traffic control device is not working.

There is a fine from $40 to $500 for pedestrians who:

  • Cross a road at any point other than in a marked crosswalk
  • Cross mid-block instead of at an intersection when there is an unmarked crosswalk
  • Cross a road rather than use a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing

Can a Jaywalker Sue After Being Hit by a Car in Maryland?

It is possible for a jaywalker to sue a driver in Maryland, but it depends on the circumstances. Under Maryland’s contributory negligence laws, accident victims who are at all responsible for the collision that caused their injuries may be barred from pursuing compensation. It’s crucial to speak to an attorney who can review the facts of your case and determine your legal options for seeking compensation.

Why Pedestrians Should Always Cross the Road on Crosswalks in Maryland

There are many reasons why pedestrians should always use crosswalks, when available, to cross the road in Maryland:

  • Safety – Although pedestrian accidents make up a small number of total crashes in Maryland each year, they account for 23 percent of traffic fatalities. Pedestrians are more likely to suffer extensive injuries, including multiple broken bones, internal bleeding, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Visibility – Crosswalks are easily visible to both pedestrians and drivers, reducing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Legality – Pedestrians who obey Maryland’s crossing laws have the legal right-of-way, an important element when seeking compensation if there’s a crash.

Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer About Your Pedestrian Injury 

If you have injuries from a pedestrian crash, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer with Cohen & Dwin, P.A. Our lawyers can help you exercise your rights and options to pursue legal action to seek full compensation from the at-fault driver. 

You have a limited time to act, so contact Cohen & Dwin, P.A., today for your free initial consultation about a potential personal injury lawsuit.

Attorney Harold Dwin

Attorney Harold P. Dwin, co-founder of Baltimore premier law firm Cohen & Dwin, P.A., is proud to be able to help clients in need by simplifying complex legal matters and solving legal problems that cause immeasurable stress.