Petting my peeves, Pt. 1 – Pedestrian Right-of-Way

Crosswalks (or pedestrian crossings) are common in populated areas, and may indicate that pedestrians have priority over vehicular traffic.

Rules for pedestrians differ by country, in the United States and Canada pedestrians generally have priority at such an intersection.

Can we all just agree to let pedestrians cross before we advance through a stop?  If you’re stopped at a four-way, and there’s a pedestrian crossing at the crosswalk opposite of you, don’t proceed into the intersection.  Don’t creep forward as the pedestrian is walking through, thinking you can time it so that you’ll be able to go through the crosswalk just as the pedestrian passes.  Don’t sit in the middle of the intersection, impatiently waiting for the person to walk through.

Just wait at your stop until the pedestrian has fully completed their cross.

There are so many reasons for this. 

1.  You may be impeding perpendicular vehicular traffic.  The normal Right-Of-Way rules do not apply if you must yeild to pedestrian traffic.  Let the other cars go while you wait for the person to cross.

2.  What if that pedestrian were to fall or stop to pick something up while you were barrelling across the intersection towards them?  Are you sure you’d be able to stop?  The only way you can be sure you stop in time is to not go at all until they are completely across.

3.    Common courtesy.  Don’t make the pedestrian feel rushed.  Unless they’re a dick themselves, they are probably going as fast as they can because they don’t want you to wait too long. 

4.  If the weather is less than perfect, you are sheltered, they are not.  You can wait 10 extra seconds much more comfortably than they can.

In summation: at crosswalks, pedestrians have the right-of-way.  Period.


3 thoughts on “Petting my peeves, Pt. 1 – Pedestrian Right-of-Way

  1. You make some good points. I generally get annoyed at the people who dart out into traffic without looking, but at crosswalks I totally agree. Since we are in America/Canada and people do have the right of way, it makes sense to just wait. Good point!

  2. I’m thinking that maybe some people think that pedestrians are maybe speed bumps? Do you think that is where the confusion is? It’s either that or they are assholes. I can’t decide….

    Great blog, you seem like both a smart and attractive person. Nice going.

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