In the last few
months, I have had to slam on my brakes too many times for pedestrians that walk
right in the middle of the street, not a crosswalk or at a light. Why be in such a big hurry that you would walk
right in front of a 3,000+ pound car and that is a small vehicle.
I drive very slowly and try to do the speed limit because the cost of a ticket is outrageous not to mention how much your insurance increases. I fear the day I am not going slow enough to stop.
I am eerily reminded that just after midnight on Labor Day Friday when I was a teenager in the South; one of my friends hit and unfortunately killed the owner of the best bar-b-que house in town at a street crossing.
It was common knowledge that he drank heavily and would walk late at night. He darted in front of her car. She wasn't cited or charged for the accident. She had the green light and did everything she could do to stop.
Years later, I still don't know how she is, but then it destroyed her life. She was engaged to a great guy; they were the perfect, high school sweethearts. They didn't get married; instead the guilt and depression drove her to be put in a mental institution.
If this happened to me get the shovel out and start digging-you’d have to bury me because it would rip my heart in pieces. My spirit would be crushed.
Didn't yo' momma tell you to look both ways before you crossed the street, elementary folks! However, when I discuss this with friends and cite the penal codes, people still insist they have the right in California to walk anywhere, anytime they want. That’s entitlement at its core.
They keep insisting that no matter what, the judge would throw the book at you even if the law says otherwise. “You hit someone.”
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration in 2010--- 4,280 deaths were pedestrians. From 2000 to 2009, more than 47,000 pedestrians were killed. As the NHSTA puts it, “On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.”
The Law- "Right-of-Way at Crosswalks”
21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may 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. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection."
Here’s what I found in the Whittier Daily News written by Al Perez of the California Highway Patrol. In it, he cites a Sgt. Billy Tyler of the Temecula Police Department who says that "When a pedestrian has the green light to walk, they have the right-of-way. However, if the vehicle has the green light, the pedestrian must yield to the vehicle and must obey the pedestrian signal."
During this last, summer holiday, please slow down and look both ways before you get in the street. No matter what the law says, why would you walk in front of a 3,000 pound vehicle moving at 40 or 50 miles an hour? No one runs that fast.