Crosswalks: Why don’t people stop for pedestrians when crossing…It is the law.

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Running through even the streets of a small town like Carrollton, GA can be a deadly experience because drivers do not show courtesy to runners, walker, and bikers at crosswalks.  I live near the University of West Georgia and there are a lot of pedestrians and uncontrolled crosswalks (crosswalks not at intersections) on which the pedestrians walk.  It really bothers me to see how many cars will pass over the crosswalks while a walker is waiting to cross.  Just yesterday I swear there were 10 cars that passed while I was waiting to cross a crosswalk before someone stopped.  Then, coming back across a car failed to stop when I was in the middle of the crosswalk.   If I am crossing a crosswalk and a car stops for me I thank them with a wave.  It should not be a kind gesture to stop to allow a pedestrian to cross a crosswalk, it is the law.  The crosswalk statute is below.

§ 40-6-91. Right of way in crosswalks

  • (a)  The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.
  • (b)  No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.
  • (c)  Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92.
  • (d)  Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

Basically, a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped at crosswalks while pedestrians are crossing.  This simply does not happen.  Conversely, in subsection (b) the law requires that pedestrians do not “dart out” in front of cars to make it impractical to stop their vehicle.  Both pedestrians and vehicles have to respect each other, but the law requires cars to stop at crosswalks.  I wouldn’t assume, however, that the car that is approaching your crosswalk has read this article and is going to stop their vehicle.  If you assume wrong then the result could be deadly.  

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