Possible loophole in PA yield to pedestrian law

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rgrasmus
Member
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After yet another left-turning car nearly hit me in a crosswalk and the driver claiming to be an off-duty police officer was upset after my gym bag collided with his rear door, I decided to check up on the PA laws for yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks (http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/vehicle_code/chapter35.pdf – Section 3542). Reading this, it appears that the law only applies to cases “when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in
operation.” I’m not sure if there are any laws giving right of way in a crosswalk with an activated crosswalk sign. Section 3322 only requires left-turning vehicles to yield to oncoming vehicles. Does anyone here know more about these laws?


Steven
Participant
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See 3113. “Word “Walk” or walking person symbol.–Pedestrians facing the signal should proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right-of-way by the drivers of all vehicles.”


rgrasmus
Member
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Thanks for the info – it makes sense in retrospect that it would be in that chapter. There should be some law similar to the 4 foot passing law but for vehicles travelling near pedestrians in crosswalks. Many turning cars forget that the rear part of the vehicle cuts the turn sharper than the front. For example, this article’s headline (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/12/13/man-injured-after-walking-into-side-of-bus/) was originally claiming the man walked into the side of the bus.


ieverhart
Participant
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Also worth noting that there are marked and unmarked crosswalks, but a pedestrian’s rights are the same at each. According to this PennDOT presentation, every corner–marked or not–is a crosswalk.

http://www.dvrpc.org/transportation/safety/presentations/pdf/2009-07/Gary_Modi_PennDOT.pdf


jonawebb
Participant
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rgrasmus wrote:There should be some law similar to the 4 foot passing law but for vehicles travelling near pedestrians in crosswalks.

I think motor vehicles are supposed to stay at least 3 feet away from pedestrians in PA — at least that’s what a cop told me once when I was driving (!) over the crosswalk in front of Phipps, many years ago.


Steven
Participant
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jonawebb wrote:I think motor vehicles are supposed to stay at least 3 feet away from pedestrians in PA

If so, it’s not mentioned in Chapter 75 with all the other laws about vehicles.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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what? a police officer who doesn’t know the law? get ahtta tahn!


scott
Keymaster
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Every police patrol officer whether they walk, drive in a car or ride a bike has been provided with our quick reference guide of traffic laws as they relate to biking and walking including this very law. Unless this officer is on desk duty, he should have one of these pocket-sized guides in his possession.


jonawebb
Participant
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This was years ago, probably before the quick reference guide was around. And, anyway, if an officer is making up laws that protect pedestrians, more power to him.

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