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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is It Illegal to Walk on the Highway in New York?

With time, society has also witnessed a massive transformation in the transportation department. People have shifted from the pedestal form of transportation to a driving-based society. Despite the outrageous number of people using vehicles, several people still are inclined to prefer walking over driving.

Keeping the public's interest in mind, the states have developed and formulated laws that protect pedestrians and bicyclists from accidents or injuries. The Law Office of Carl Maltese presents complete information on the illegality of walking on the highways in the state of New York.

Is It Illegal to Walk on the Highway in New York?

Is It Illegal to Walk on the Highway in New York?

In the state of New York, the traffic laws that exist are similar for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. When considering pedestrian rights on highways, it is allowed to share the public roads with driving vehicles.

However, pedestrians and bicyclists cannot share the right to walk on inter-state roads and expressways. Therefore, the state has installed no entry or prohibited boards on such highways for pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles.

What Is an Access-Controlled Road?

The access-controlled road is a generic name for all United States interstate highways. It is named so because it grants limited or no access to these access-controlled highways for pedestrians and bicyclists.

There is also a prohibition on slow-moving vehicles from entering these highways. The government takes these steps to protect pedestrians and drivers from injuries and accidents.

What Is an Interstate Highway?

A highway is a road designed to allow motor vehicles and possess a limited number of access points. Many such highways are a part of interstate highways in the United States. Pedestrians are not allowed on such highways.

Interstate highways are those highways that link two states to make traveling easier. It also has a defined specific speed limit and the minimum speed for driving on such highways.

Why Is It Illegal for Pedestrians to Walk on Highways in New York?

The state of New York has made it illegal for pedestrians and bicyclists to walk on interstate highways. In addition, the state of New York prohibits slow-moving vehicles from entering this highway.

One of the main reasons for this provision is to prevent accidents, as high-speed cars and low-speed traffic are deadly in transport. Moreover, the minimum speed limit on such interstate highways or access-controlled roads is 40 Mph. Therefore, driving below the speed limit makes the driver liable to be withheld under traffic laws breaking conditions.

The other reason behind it is that the cars to be driven are first tested to see if they are equipped with the safety equipment necessary to avoid collisions and accidents. Hence, pedestrians with no safety equipment to survive such hazardous collisions are prohibited from entering these interstate highways and expressways.

What Traffic Laws Exist for Pedestrians in the State of New York?

Pedestrians in the state of New York must obey all traffic signals, markings, and signs to prevent injuries, collisions, and accidents. Here are a few traffic laws mentioned specifically for pedestrians:

  • Pedestrians are prohibited from using expressways, interstate highways, and access-controlled roads.

  • If the sidewalk is available, the pedestrians must stay off the road and stick walking on the sidewalk.

  • When crosswalks exist, pedestrians must use them. The crosswalks provide them with the right-of-way in heavy traffic areas with no sidewalks.

  • If there are no sidewalks or crosswalks, pedestrians should walk in the opposite direction of traffic for better visibility.

  • Walking in the middle of the road is illegal, and pedestrians should walk closer to the lane.

  • Every driver approaching a sidewalk or crosswalk must provide the right of way to the pedestrian if present.


The traffic laws, rules, and regulations are meant to be followed by every citizen of New York, whether it is the driver or pedestrian. If they are neglected or violated, it may result in the person being withheld by the police, charged with heavy fines, or in the worst cases, may experience injuries and accidents. It is important to be aware of the traffic laws, such as the legality of u-turns in New York. If you have made a violation as a driver, find out how long points stay on your license New York.

An individual must seek legal help if the victim of such accidents is subjected to mistreatment or false accusation. A Long Island motor vehicle accident attorney can get all the information needed from the victim and the case to create a compelling case that will earn the person a good settlement.


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