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The rules for crossing the road in California

One of the more likely locations for auto-pedestrian accidents to occur in Pomona is the roadway itself. Despite the fact that traffic lanes and crosswalks are typically clearly marked, much confusion may still exist as to who actually has the right-of-way when it comes to vehicles and pedestrians sharing the road.

According to Section 21950 of California’s Vehicle Code, vehicles are to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who are crossing in a defined crosswalk. Such crosswalks can be either marked or unmarked. A marked crosswalk one that has been distinctly identified by surface markings. An unmarked crosswalk is a portion of a roadway at which there is a connection if the boundary lines of sidewalks at an intersection where the intersecting roadways meet at 90-degree angles.

While motorists have a duty to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, pedestrians must still exercise caution when crossing at a crosswalk. One cannot simply run into the crosswalk when a vehicle is so close that avoiding a collision would be difficult. One also cannot intentionally delay traffic by remaining in the crosswalk.

Section 21954 of the Vehicle Code goes on to say that pedestrians are legally allowed to cross the street at areas other than a crosswalk. However, when doing so, the responsibilities are reversed: the pedestrian must yield to oncoming traffic, and motorists must exercise care to avoid collisions with pedestrians crossing in such areas. The only area where pedestrians are not permitted to cross are sections of the roadway adjacent to areas when pedestrian foot traffic is directed by either aa law enforcement officer or a traffic signal.

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