Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Who is responsible for pedestrian safety at Heritage Lake?
Indiana statutes make it clear, a pedestrian on a 2 way road, even with no shoulder has a responsibility to yield to traffic. Following is the relevant legislation designed for you to keep yourself safe.
Indiana Code Title 9. Motor Vehicles § 9-21-17-14
Sec. 14. If neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, a pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway. If the roadway is two-way, the pedestrian shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
Indiana Code Title 9. Motor Vehicles § 9-21-17-15
Sec. 15. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Many of us wish the founders of our lake would have installed walkways or a path. But that was 1971 and they didn't. We've obviously grown since then, and anecdotal reports suggest that pedestrians seem to think THEY have the right of way and motorists must yield to them. That is simply not true. The reason you need to walk on the left facing oncoming traffic is so YOU can see THEM and move over as much as possible, even step off the road if you can to let them pass. Walking two abreast and demanding a motorist yield to you when you can't see behind you if they have oncoming traffic, you just don't know the risk you take with a false sense of entitlement.
For those who may wonder, Indiana defines Highway or street. IC 9-13-2-73 "Highway or street" Sec. 73. "Highway" or "street" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every publicly maintained way when any part of the way is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in Indiana. The term includes an alley in a city or town.
Should motorists give you a wide berth? Sure, if they can, but you , the pedestrian, actually have more control over your safety and a responsibility to do so.