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Pedestrians and right of way

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  • Pedestrians and right of way

    I was having a discussion with a few people and nobody could agree on the right answer....

    Does a pedestrian have the right of way over traffic with a green light when crossing against the light?

    I remember years ago when I was a teenager I was crossing on a red light (no traffic coming) and I was scolded by a police officer, but many of the people I was discussing this with believe that a pedestrian always has the right of way and can legally cross on a red light and stop traffic. Is this correct?

  • #2
    Not in California.

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    • #3
      Not in Maryland. Everyone thinks because a pedestrian is in the roadway, they have the right of way. This is not always the case and there are laws about when, where, and how a pedestrian can cross the road.

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      • #4

        It seems as though drivers in VA are taught that pedestrian crosswalks are a "strike zone" where ten points are given for a direct hit and five for a near-miss.




        Sarcasm meter turned to "high" position.

        The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

        The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

        ------------------------------------------------

        "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChuckW View Post
          I was having a discussion with a few people and nobody could agree on the right answer....

          Does a pedestrian have the right of way over traffic with a green light when crossing against the light?

          I remember years ago when I was a teenager I was crossing on a red light (no traffic coming) and I was scolded by a police officer, but many of the people I was discussing this with believe that a pedestrian always has the right of way and can legally cross on a red light and stop traffic. Is this correct?
          If there is no traffic coming, then you can cross at a red light at the intersection. However, you must yield the right of way to all approaching vehicles. You have no right to stop traffic to continue on your merry way. I know some pedestrians who are no longer with us who would agree with me.

          A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

          It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ChuckW View Post
            many of the people I was discussing this with believe that a pedestrian always has the right of way and can legally cross on a red light and stop traffic. Is this correct?
            This little rule of thumb applies in all US cities:

            Motor vehicles have the right of way anywhere, anytime, based on tonnage and physics
            "Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought" ~Henri Louis Bergson
            ______________________


            ComptonPOLICEGANGS.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by exComptonCop View Post
              This little rule of thumb applies in all US cities:

              Motor vehicles have the right of way anywhere, anytime, based on tonnage and physics
              +1

              I see the greatest lack of common sense on college campuses. Regardless of whether pedestrians have the right of way, there are MANY that fail to even look left and right while walking across the crosswalk. That is just asking please kill me so that my stupid genes are not passed on to the next generation.

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              • #8
                What sparked this conversation in the first place is this:

                http://www.gmacinsurance.com/SafeDriving/2006/test.asp

                Question #13 says "A pedestrian crossing at the corner has the right-of-way:" and the correct answer is b. At marked or unmarked crosswalks.

                Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question but in my city there are crosswalks at many stoplight controlled intersections and this "correct" answer seems to indicate that the pedestrian has the right of way, period. Needless to say, I was surprised by the answer and have a hard time believing it.

                Thanks for your replies.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by exComptonCop View Post
                  This little rule of thumb applies in all US cities:

                  Motor vehicles have the right of way anywhere, anytime, based on tonnage and physics.
                  Yep! Had a CHP explain that concept to me one day. He used lug nuts as his criteria. The vehicle with the most lug nuts usually wins. Since pedestrians don’t have lug nuts......

                  It works for me!

                  Originally posted by nitromt View Post
                  +1

                  I see the greatest lack of common sense on college campuses. Regardless of whether pedestrians have the right of way, there are MANY that fail to even look left and right while walking across the crosswalk. That is just asking please kill me so that my stupid genes are not passed on to the next generation.
                  I see that a lot. I can’t figure out if I’m sorry or happy when I go to the hospital and issue the pedestrian a “Failure to grant the right-of-way to a vehicle when crossing/not in a crosswalk” or “reckless use of the highway by a pedestrian”. They always get an outraged look on their face and say, “but I was walking- I had the right-of-way.”
                  "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                  ______________________________________________

                  "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                  ______________________________________________

                  “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

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                  • #10
                    Pedestrains

                    In Alabama, as in most states, the following applies. If vehicular traffic has the green light, that traffic has the right of way. In a crosswalk not controlled by a signal, the pedestrian has the right of way in the crosswalk,if he is in the crosswalk on the same side of the road the vehicle is in. That said, the Vehicle Codes of most states require drivers to "Exercise due care for pedestrains".While that is a general requirement of law, it will not relieve a pedestrain of blame or liability in an accident he causes due to his negligence. This often becomes a "moot point", if, and when the pedestrian is killed as a result of his own negligence.

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                    • #11
                      Green light means go, red light means stop. Walk means walk, don’t walk means don't walk. Its pretty simple.

                      Regardless of who has the right of way, if a car hits you as you walk across the street, the car will always win. Your chances of surviving to sue are pretty slim.

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                      • #12
                        In my area on Rt.1 which is 45 mph in the section I am talking about there used to be crosswalks not controlled by traffic lights. These were finally removed recently due to so many people getting hit because they believe the traffic must stop for them. --if I remember correctly and read the paper right they discussed how if its under 35 mph then the traffic must yield but if the speed limit was more then 35 traffic did not have to yield to the pedestrians--

                        Is there a law that states that?

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