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New Orleans Traffic Rules for Pedestrians

by Morris Bart Personal Injury Lawyers 8 days ago in advice

That Some People Should Really Follow

Photo by Kendall Hoopes from

It sometimes seems like traffic laws in New Orleans are only suggestions for pedestrians and not hard and fast rules. New Orleans pulls out all the stops to make tourism highly lucrative, so don’t expect a band of tourists to be charged with any traffic crime. Instead, the crimes are weighed by each law officer and charged according to guidelines. For example, passing out drunk involves charges of “blocking the sidewalk,” which can be treated as a terrorist-level threat if it blocks commerce or a complete non-issue if it doesn’t involve any serious issues of interrupting the flow of commerce.

Wealthy Tourists Have Expanded Rights

Traffic law enforcement also depends on the demographic profile of those who break the laws. Wealthy, well-heeled tourists don't even hear about any possible violations they might have committed. On the other hand, broke residents face accelerated efforts to enforce traffic laws that might inconvenience tourists.

All right, it’s not as bad as that, but you will notice some selective law environments throughout the French Quarters. People seem oblivious to traffic laws affecting tourists. Drivers in New Orleans have achieved some remarkable distinctions, including ignorance of the law and a reputation for terrible driving skills. They rank 48th among the states for careless driving, and a 2013 study awarded the state top honors for worst driving.

One news article that might have employed a bit of sarcasm led off with a startling discovery supposedly made by a driver.

The driver noticed a gimmick on the left side of the steering column that triggered blinking lights on the left and right sides of the vehicle. “I bet this could be used to indicate the intention to make a turn,” concluded the driver. “Of course, nobody in New Orleans would actually use such a device.”

New Orleans Pedestrians Learn Their Roles Quickly

Pedestrians learn quickly to make broad excuses for violating pedestrian traffic laws and regulations. In theory, pedestrians are limited to crossing roads at crosswalks and sidewalk pathways, but relying on pedestrian compliance is an exercise in futility. Armed with regulations that require drivers to grant pedestrians the right-of-way in all cases, drivers face difficulties proving their innocence in any type of pedestrian accident. Having just a little chance to avoid a collision transforms to an overwhelming mandate to take the last-chance option that avoids injuring pedestrians.

Upgraded Laws to Protect Cyclists and Pedestrians

Recent laws were passed to update the antiquated laws bicycle, pedestrian, and automobile laws to generate greater safety at all levels of operation. In addition, the road rules have been updated, including changes made to benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle traffic. Some of these new regulations include:

  • Motorists are prohibited from using bicycle lanes except when preparing to turn within 200 feet of an intersection or facilitate turning into a private road, alley, or driveway.
  • Vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and bicycles in that order.
  • Bicyclists are still allowed to use the shoulder of the road.
  • People must exercise a duty of care when opening vehicle doors to avoid collisions with pedestrians and fast-moving bicycles.

Accidents Happen Regardless of Your Duty of Care

Unfortunately, car accidents occur regularly despite advances in safety equipment, a greater focus on safety, and law changes. Hiring an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney should be your first step after experiencing an accident. You deserve compensation for your injuries as a pedestrian or a car driver, and the responsible party should pay for their negligence. Nevertheless, New Orleans being a special place, it is best to have a reputable and experienced attorney by your side instead of negotiating with other people or insurance companies by yourself.

Urban Greenway Patterns

Urban Greenways offer important opportunities for exercise and physical activity that promote better health. Unfortunately, adults don’t get enough exercise, so New Orleans greenway programs are designed to change that statistic. Established Greenways provide protected spaces where exercisers and cyclists can open up to the bounties that nature provides.

In New Orleans, pedestrians account for between 22% and 58% of all traffic. Unfortunately, junctions with road traffic pose great risks to pedestrians and cyclists. That’s why complete street policies are being developed to increase safety and reduce accidents in areas where the community fosters greater foot and cycling traffic.

Enjoy New Orleans and try to stay safe!


Morris Bart Personal Injury Lawyers

Morris Bart is a law firm with over 40 years of experience. Phone: 800-537-8185

Business hours: 24/7


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