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What are the pedestrian right-of-way laws in California?

With the summer season right around the corner, we will begin seeing an increase in the number of pedestrians in the San Diego area. Kids will be out of school. More people will be taking days off from work and tourism to the area will increase. Let’s review the pedestrian laws that are in place in the state of California so you know what to expect either as a pedestrian or a motorist this summer season.

California law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians who are crossing in crosswalks or at corners. These crosswalks can even be in the middle of the block. They can also be marked or unmarked. This law also encompasses crosswalks that are found at intersections not regulated by traffic lights.

Motorists are to never stop in a crosswalk or pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. Never drive on a sidewalk unless it is part of the intersection and you must cross it to get to the other side of the road.

If you come to an intersection that does not have a yield sign or a stop sign, you should slow your vehicle and prepare to come to a stop in the event you see a pedestrian. Motorists are required to stop for pedestrians who are already in a crosswalk or preparing to enter into the intersection.

Crosswalks in California that are marked are done so in white most of the time. Some crosswalks in school zones will be marked with yellow paint. Most crosswalks in residential areas will not be marked at all.

Now that you know some of the pedestrian laws, be sure you follow them in order to avoid pedestrian accidents in San Diego when visiting or working this summer. Pedestrian accidents are some of the most tragic accidents, so it’s best to do everything possible to avoid them.

Source: State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, “Right-of-Way Rules,” accessed April 26, 2018

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