3 foot rule now applies to drivers passing pedestrians on Nashville roads

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Council passed a bill Thursday night that gives pedestrians the right-of-way on certain roads.

The ordinance says pedestrians must walk on a sidewalk or shoulder if there is one available. If not, they can use up to three feet of the roadway.

If a driver wishes to pass the pedestrian, he must maintain a three-foot distance.

(Photo: WKRN)

Councilman Anthony Davis co-sponsored the bill and met News 2 on Litton Avenue in East Nashville to show us what the ordinance does.

“This stretch of Litton Avenue is a perfect example,” he said. “There’s no sidewalk, no shoulder and you’ve got a big ditch. So we have the right to walk in the road on the edge up to three feet.”

The pedestrian must walk in the direction of on-coming traffic and can’t walk in the middle of the road.

“We get a lot of kids walking on this road and cars will brush them off,” Davis told News 2. “Drivers expect the pedestrian to get in the ditch or get in the grass and that’s not the case. The pedestrian should have the right of way and the car should move three feet in the road.”

If the driver cannot pass safely, the vehicle must yield to the pedestrian.

Davis admits that enforcement could be an issue but he says it’s more about awareness and giving more rights to pedestrians.

“Enforcement is the biggest challenge but that’s really why we want to drive awareness with this,” he said.

If drivers are caught violating the ordinance, they could be found guilty of a misdemeanor charge and fined up to $50.