CON: Pedestrians vs Drivers

Cecilia Areta

Drivers frequently question why pedestrians insist on staggering through crosswalks despite the blinking red hand signal.

Everyone on the road wants to get to where they need to be, so why is it okay for pedestrians to skip turns without consequence while drivers are penalized even for the “California roll”.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles driver handbook, vehicle code 21950 gives pedestrians the right of way when in a crosswalk.

However, pedestrians who cross outside the crosswalk must yield to cars and trucks.

It is illegal for a pedestrian to unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

If a pedestrian crosses outside the crosswalk, you do not have to give them the right of way. But when you are inside your vehicle, what can you do besides stop for them?

If you honk at a pedestrian crossing out of turn, you look like the bad guy. If you nudge your car forward to hint to the pedestrian that they are out of turn, you are actually the one breaking the rules.

There is a fine line regarding who has the right of way. It rests upon judgment and most of the time people side with the pedestrian.

Why is it that, typically, when one hears that a person crossing the street was struck by an enormous SUV, most suspect that it was the driver’s mistake and not the pedestrian’s fault?

It is the common thought that a person cannot take on a car. That assumption must be shed because it is the pedestrian’s responsibility as much as the driver’s to look out and keep within road etiquette.

An insight of caution to pedestrians — be wary of vehicles because, if one day a driver with road rage hits you and you are crossing outside the crosswalk, you will not win the lawsuit.