Pedestrian and reflective jacket

Outside the city centers and after sunset the pedestrian must wear the reflective jacket: otherwise, in case of investment, the motorist is not responsible for culpable homicide.


The motorist who, outside a city center and at night, invests a pedestrian who does not wear the reflective jacket is not responsible for culpable homicide. This is the orientation established several times by the Supreme Court and reiterated with a ruling this morning.


Pedestrian behavior

The Highway Code establishes that, outside urban centers, pedestrians must circulate:

In the case of a two-way roadway, in the opposite direction to that of the cars;

In the case of one way traffic carriageway, on the right margin with respect to the direction of travel of the vehicles. Half an hour after the setting of the sun, half an hour before its arrival, pedestrians traveling on the roadway of streets outside the inhabited centers, without public lighting, must march in one row.


However, no regulations require the pedestrian to wear the reflective jacket. The only obligation is only for the motorist and the cyclist. In the first case, in particular, reflective vests or braces must be worn by drivers of cars standing on the roadway, out of the inhabited areas, at night or in conditions of poor visibility. It is compulsory to wear them when you go to fix the triangle after a breakdown or if you leave the car stationary on the emergency lane. The obligation applies not only to the driver but also to any passengers carried.


The motorist is not responsible for the other carelessness

The fact that no rules of the highway code impose on the pedestrian to wear, at night and outside the urban centers, the reflective safety vest does not mean that this behavior can be considered, even if permissible, also prudent. In fact, it is very easy that the pedestrian, in conditions of poor visibility, it may not be sighted by the driver and invested. In such cases, according to the Supreme Court, the motorist can not be convicted of murder, but always that his driving behavior is considered prudent and respectful of speed limits.


The driver must – punctually underlines the jurisprudence – put himself in a position to foresee and avoid the accident. This means not only respecting the rules of the highway code, but doing everything to avoid situations that are however critical that may cause damage to third parties. However, in front of the car there is a pedestrian who, in the middle of the night, completely hidden from the darkness, does not stay on the side of the road in order to avoid danger, it is certainly an impossible situation to foresee and on the roads to high distance, also to avoid. Therefore, in such cases, only if the pedestrian wore the reflective vest the driver can be criminally responsible (the investment, in fact, is predictable and avoidable with the light signal), otherwise it is exempt from any criminal liability.

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