Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of the VRUs, or Vulnerable Road Users. In general terms, pedestrians are those traveling on foot. The definition gets a bit broader when crosswalks enter into the mix. Bicyclists, skateboarders, and skaters in a driveway or crosswalk are also consider to be pedestrians.

u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 Common sense tells us to avoid any contact between our vehicles and pedestrians, and that should not be too difficult. If pedestrians follow their own rules of the road and drivers theirs, vehicle-pedestrian encounters should be minimal if not non-existent. Now back to reality. There are drivers who go astray of traffic laws and there are pedestrians who fail to ignore rules that affect them as well. And so, collisions and injuries occur, some serious or even fatal. Whenever you are operating a motor vehicle, be mindful of the rules you must observe as they relate to pedestrians:

  • Any time a pedestrian is at a marked crossing, driveway, or intersection, you must stop your vehicle and remain stopped until the pedestrian is fully across the street.
  • If you are in a driveway, alley, or private road and want to pull out into a roadway, you must stop for pedestrians passing in front of you on the sidewalk.
  • When you are stopped at a red light, no part of your vehicle should be located within a crosswalk where it could obstruct foot traffic.
  • NEVER pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. Assume that driver is yielding to pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Part of stopping before you make a legal right turn on red is to check for pedestrians who may be in your path when you execute your right turn.
  • Always use extreme caution when you come upon visually or mobility impaired individuals. Stop completely and yield the right of way to them.
  • Children or individuals who are confused or incapacitated are not predictable. You don’t know if they will step into your path as you pass by. Stop completely and yield the right of way to them. When you proceed, continue to exercise caution until you are at a safe distance from them.
  • Understand than not all pedestrians will obey walk/no walk signals. Some will be out after dark wearing clothing that is non-reflective. Some will be out jogging regardless of the time of day or weather. Be prepared for any of these instances.
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