What Are The Pedestrians’ Right of Way At Crosswalks?

Right of way laws are a complex matter, which reflects in the yearly statistics regarding motorist-pedestrian collisions. Especially when it comes to crosswalks, it is important that both the motorists and the pedestrians understand which right of way laws apply to them. This way, severe collisions can be prevented.

The Rights of a Pedestrian at a Crosswalk

The most basic thing that needs to be understood is that a crosswalk does not need to look like a typical crosswalk in order to require crosswalk treatment. The Motor Vehicle Act of 1996 establishes crosswalks as a section of a road which is marked by lines, signs, of another marking along the surface which indicates a crosswalk to motorists and pedestrians.

This means that, no matter how a crosswalk is labeled, the same right of way laws will apply. And the law dictates that pedestrians hold the right of way under all circumstances and at any crosswalk. Furthermore, even if the motorist's light has turned green, they are still required to utilize their common sense and let pedestrians cross, if they are already moving along the crosswalk.

Pedestrians' Right of Way Outside of Crosswalks

Outside of crosswalks, it is upon the pedestrians to be cautious and yield the right of way to the motorists. Despite this, motorists are also expected to remain cautious of pedestrians who are crossing the road outside of crosswalks. So, if a pedestrian crosses the road ahead, the motorist is expected to take evasive action if they are reasonably and safely able to. Thus, adherence to safety laws becomes important.

If the motorist neglects to do so, they could be determined liable for causing the collision. In order to avoid such collisions, pedestrians should wear light clothes and stick to crossing roads at crosswalks only. This is especially true on gloomy days or during night time.

Determining Liability in the Case of a Pedestrian Crossing Collision

While it is true that motorists are expected to yield the right of way to all pedestrians, the pedestrians also hold a responsibility when it comes to protecting themselves and ensuring their own safety within reason. But if there is an accident, it is important that the plaintiff works with the best and most experienced injury lawyers in Abbotsford. They need to look at the types of cases handled and the success rates. Look for a lawyer online or ask for recommendations.

Pedestrians are thus expected to check for oncoming traffic before they cross a road so that motorists are able to react and brake safely. Furthermore, pedestrians are also expected to ensure their own visibility by wearing bright and/or reflective clothing, especially when they are navigating badly lit roads and crosswalks.