Friday, February 11, 2011

At the Crosswalk

Maybe I've had it wrong all these years. Anyone who has been reading more than a year or two knows that I've written many, many posts about pedestrian safety in the borough. Particularly when crosswalks are involved. And especially at crosswalks with crossing guards.
It has always been my understanding that a vehicle should yield to a pedestrian if the pedestrian is standing at the corner or in the crosswalk wanting to cross the road.
Further, I believe the vehicle should wait until the person is out of the cross walk and onto the sidewalk. I know, this takes two or three seconds that are incredibly valuable to the driver and it could happen a couple of times a day, but that is what I believe to be the law.
I also understood that if a crossing guard was in an intersection that all traffic should wait until the crossing guard and pedestrians are out of the intersection.
Today I dropped my daughter off at Shafer. I was on Belvidere travelling west toward Broad when I stopped at the corner where Mitch's Market is located (Belvidere and New). Opposite me on Belvidere travelling east with its right turn signal on was a school bus. In the intersection was a crossing guard with the stop sign held aloft. At New Street on the south side heading east toward Shafer was a parent and child crossing the street. As they finished crossing New they turned north toward Mitch's crossing Belvidere infront of my vehicle. As soon as they began heading north and had cleared New, with the crossing guard in the intersection and sign held up, the bus made the right had turn toward Tatamy Road.
Earlier, I had seen a student walking to the Middle School. I see her most days as she lives in the homes just across from the building. She was standing in the intersection, with a crosswalk at the entrance to the building. I watched at least seven vehicles coming from both directions making rights and lefts into the building drive on through. Not one of them stopped. I made sure I stopped as I was exiting far enough back and made eye contact and waived when she was ready to finally cross. All the while, an Upper Nazareth Police Officer stood infront of the parent pick up to make sure children were dropped off properly (he is there most every day).
Could someone please explain to me what the law actually is? Do pedestrians have to be out of the roadway or just out of your probable way? Is this ever enforced? And if not, why bother having the law?

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker


The Battle Cry of Freedom said...

I believe you are correct in you interpretation of the law. Of course, having become a less courteous people what would one expect. We are always in a hurry and if you do stop to let some one cross or attempt to be polite and lawful you will find that a fool behind you will find it necessary to blow their horn. As to the cops, chalk them up as useless today. Write a ticket why my hands might get cold in this weather

NazoRanter said...

Looking at the drivers manual, the only clear line is that pedestrians always have the right of way.

However, it does also state that pedestrians need to be aware of and obey all crossing signs, so it is partly on them.

That said, I would love to see borough pedestrians actually obey the crossing laws. I can't drive a single day through the borough without a pedestrian playing Frogger in the middle of the block (adults by the way).

Why should we expect to obey the laws for pedestrians while driving while they are so blatantly ignored by the pedestrians on the street?

Joy Marsh, Independent Assoc. #361217 said...

Ever Try crossing Broad St at the CORNER of Prospect St at 5PM?

krolart said...

Try going to the post office. Most drivers do not stop for the pedestrians, in fact many times they speed up when pedestrians are in the crosswwalk. The borough should enforce traffic laws and collect fines; it should also fine jaywalkers. Might really help the budget situation.

NewsOverCoffee said...

I agree most intersections are dangerous to cross in town.

I don't disagree that some people are discourteous when walking, but they are putting their life at risk by doing so. If I'm following the law and a driver puts my life at risk it is a very different situation.