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California Crosswalks Know Duties Prevent Pedestrian Crash

According to the latest statistics, a pedestrian is killed approximately every two hours and injured every eight minutes in a traffic crash. One of the best ways to deter pedestrian crashes is for both pedestrians and drivers to obey laws and signals consistently.

Under California law, both pedestrians and drivers have certain duties. Below is a brief summary:

For Drivers

  • The driver of a vehicle must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  • The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk must also exercise all due care, which may include reducing the speed of the vehicle or taking any other action needed to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
  • Whenever any vehicle has stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear cannot overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
  • The driver of any motor vehicle, prior to driving over or upon any sidewalk, must yield the right-of-way to any approaching pedestrian.

For Pedestrians

  • Even when they have the right-of-way, pedestrians still have a duty to use due care for their safety. For example, pedestrians cannot suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. They also cannot unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  • When outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles that are so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.
  • Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians cannot cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk, i.e. “jaywalk.”