Legal Elite of the Upstate

A Veteran-Owned Business

'Top 40 Under 40' award by The National Trial Lawyers

Seal of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum


Call Us For Free Consultation



What Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone?

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > What Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone?

What Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone?

A pedestrian safety zone is a designated area on or by a roadway that focuses on pedestrian safety. They’re typically found in areas with high foot traffic such as tourist locations, shopping areas, and school zones, or in areas that see a disproportionately high number of pedestrian accidents. The purpose is to reduce injuries and fatalities from pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian safety is of special interest to us, since South Carolina was found to be #13 among states with the most pedestrian fatalities 2010-2019, according to a 2021 study by Smart Growth America using data from the NHTSA. Particularly bad, Greenville-Anderson-Maudlin, SC made the list of the top 20 most dangerous areas in the nation for pedestrians, coming in at number 14.

Experts agree that the majority of pedestrian deaths are preventable, as are most pedestrian injuries, and one way to reduce pedestrian accidents is to implement pedestrian safety zones.

What Is a Pedestrian Safety Zone?

No two pedestrian safety zones are exactly alike, but all pedestrian safety zones feature pedestrian-friendly design, accommodations, and/or regulations to help reduce traffic accidents that can injure or kill pedestrians. This can include things like:

–        Reduced speed limit

–        No-turn-on-red rule

–        All-way-cross crosswalks and scrambles

–        High-visibility markings on crosswalks and lanes

–        Traffic-calming chicanes, speed bumps, and narrowed lanes

–        Wider sidewalks

–        Pedestrian refuges like islands and medians

–        Signage indicating it’s a pedestrian safety zone


These modifications and improvements can slow vehicles down, improve visibility of pedestrians to drivers, and provide more places for pedestrians to walk and stand out of the way of vehicles. Together, they create a safer experience for pedestrians and drivers alike.

What Is a “Safety Zone” in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, a “safety zone” is not the same thing as a “pedestrian safety zone” as widely understood. It is “an area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians,” as defined in SC Code Section 56-5-510. No vehicles are allowed to drive through a safety zone. This differs from a pedestrian safety zone in which measures are put in place to allow both vehicles and pedestrians to use the same area, albeit more safely.  

Do Pedestrian Safety Zones Work?

According to the NHTSA, yes, studies have shown that pedestrian safety zones are effective at reducing accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Traffic accidents involving pedestrians across the country are unacceptably high. In 2021, the NHTSA reports, 7,388 pedestrians were killed and over 60,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents. Efforts like increasing the number of pedestrian safety zones across the country are a practical way to improve safety in the community and reduce potentially devastating and deadly traffic accidents.

Fortunately, Greenville is doing something about pedestrian safety. In June 2021, not long after the Smart Growth America study mentioned at the top came out, the city partnered with a consulting service to study the issue and make recommendations. The resulting Pedestrian Safety Action Plan includes suggestions for pedestrian safety zone-type improvements and modifications around the city. The initiative is still ongoing.

Speak with Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle or otherwise injured in a motor vehicle accident as a pedestrian, speak with one of the personal injury attorneys at The Carolina Law Group. We have experience handling pedestrian accident cases and we are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve and need to heal. Call us today at one of the numbers below to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Matt is a graduate of the South Carolina’s Honors College and the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina where he obtained an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Matt later obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law where was a member of the South Carolina Law Review and the legal fraternity Phi Alpha Delta. Matt’s education and experience provides valuable insight into how insurance companies approach the litigation process. This allows Matt to closely work with his clients in protecting their legal rights from the initial claim stage through trial.

Translate »