Modes of Transportation - As a Pedestrian

Pedestrians: What the Law Says

The Highway Safety Code also applies to pedestrians. It is important to obey it in order to stay safe and avoid fines while travelling on foot.

In brief

According to the Highway Safety Code, pedestrians must:

  • always use the sidewalk bordering the roadway. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk along the side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic
  • cross at intersections and pedestrian crosswalks. Pedestrians should check traffic before crossing by first looking left, then right, then left again and behind themselves
  • obey the pedestrian lights at intersections. If there are no pedestrian lights, pedestrians must obey traffic lights

According to the Highway Safety Code, pedestrians must not:

  • cross an intersection diagonally, unless authorized to do so by a peace officer, school crossing guard or a sign or signal
  • hitchhike on the roadway or in an area where passing is prohibited
  • walk on highways or access ramps

Where there are pedestrian lights

The white silhouette authorizes pedestrians to cross the street carefully, while watching for vehicles that are turning, especially at intersections where turning right on red is allowed. A countdown timer often indicates the time pedestrians have left to cross.
The flashing hand signal, which may be accompanied by a countdown timer, indicates that pedestrians should cross only if they have enough time to reach the other side or the safety zone before the orange hand stops flashing. If pedestrians have already started to cross, they should hurry up.
An orange hand that is not flashing indicates that pedestrians may not cross.

Where there are only traffic lights

Pedestrians have the right of way on the green light only.

Where there is a stop sign

Pedestrians have priority and drivers and cyclists must stop in order to yield the right of way.

Where there are pedestrian crosswalks that are not located at an intersection

Pedestrian crosswalks are marked by solid yellow lines and identified by signs.

Pedestrians have priority at crosswalks and drivers and cyclists must yield the right of way. However, pedestrians must make sure they can cross safely, in other words, that the vehicles and cyclists have seen them and are yielding the right of way.

Where there are no intersections and no pedestrian crosswalks nearby

Pedestrians may cross, but they must yield the right of way to vehicles and cyclists.


Pedestrians who don't obey the rules laid out in the Highway Safety Code face a fine of $15 to $30.