Most drivers are aware of the majority of rules that govern operation of motor vehicles on a public roadway. These rules are set forth in Alabama Code § 32-5A-1 though § 32-5A-330. Although these rules primarily concern operation of vehicles, they also contain provisions directing proper pedestrian use of roadways and intersections.
The principle rule for pedestrians requires that they follow the traffic control devices that regulate motor vehicle traffic unless otherwise directed by a specific pedestrian control sign such as the commonly used walk/don’t walk devices. Alabama Code § 32-5A-32 and §32-5A-210. Whenever there are special pedestrian control signals at an intersection, pedestrians may proceed across the roadway as directed and shall have the right of way and all motor vehicles must yield to the pedestrian. Alabama Code § 32-5A-33.
When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, drivers of motor vehicles must yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk. If a pedestrian is crossing a roadway at any point other than an intersection or a marked crosswalk, then the pedestrian shall yield to vehicles on the roadway. If there are adjacent intersections where traffic control devices are in use, it is unlawful to cross the roadway except at a marked crosswalk. Alabama Code § 32-5A-212. This would be the case in the typical “jaywalking” situation where pedestrians attempt to cross a roadway in the middle of the block. It is also against the law for pedestrians to attempt to cross an intersection diagonally. Alabama Code § 32-5A-212.