New signs urge drivers to yield right-of-way to pedestrians

New Delaware Department of Transportation signs reminding drivers “It’s the law” — showing an outline of a person walking, with “yield” in a triangle — are being posted to inform drivers that state law requires them to slow down and let pedestrians cross.

“That is a step DelDOT is looking at to where we are trying to educate anybody that is using our roadways along Route 1 — especially with the resort season picking up and with the law being yield to pedestrians in the Delaware Code,” explained Pete Haag, traffic engineer for the Delaware Department of Transportation.

“We received a few inquiries from the public about trying to get this education piece across to the public, especially when we were getting out-of-staters who may not be Delaware residents. Bordering states, like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, even some people from Canada, may not know the law,” he said.

The sign was designed to be informative and have a catchy message that will alert drivers to watch for pedestrians.

“When you see it, we are advising folks to be careful if they come across a pedestrian along the roadway. We’re continuing to post more of these devices. We have plans to go north of that area, and even south of where the signs are out there, to provide this education message. So if people are traveling and they see this message, they are reminded of this state law,” Haag said.

Delaware code requires drivers to yield to pedestrians, but doesn’t stipulate they must come to a complete stop.

“That’s why you don’t see a stop sign. If it was an intersection where motorists had to come to a stop, that would be a different situation, but this is free flow on Route 1, controlled by signage,” he said.

He declined to say who would be liable if a pedestrian suddenly ran in front of a car and was hit, referring the question to police.


By Susan Canfora

Staff Reporter