There is a good chance you’ve heard about the new law in California that centers on pedestrians. The Freedom to Walk legislation came into play in January 2023. It touches on jaywalking, which has had a discourse for years.
The Freedom of Walk bill ensures the protection of pedestrians from discriminatory or unfair ticketing practices.
It also cuts out the need to over-police African-American communities, which puts traffic to a halt. It ensures that traffic enforcement should follow standard practices and shouldn’t put undue stress or financial burden on individuals with low income.
The Freedom to Walk Act makes many essential changes to conventional traffic laws. However, pedestrians should know that it doesn’t legalize jaywalking.
In fact, there are some misleading articles on the internet fueling fire to this misconception. It is crucial to assess key pedestrian rules and crosswalk laws that every Californian needs to know about.
Marking of Crosswalks Marked by White Lines
The CVC 275 states that not all crossing points have white lines. It also highlights that a crosswalk s may be a sidewalk with a stretched-out intersection that joints two roads at a specific angle. Conversely, a crosswalk can be part of a road painted with unique white lines.
Traveling in Bike Lanes for Pedestrians
The CVC 21966 law mentions that pedestrians should avoid bike lanes and use the adjacent pedestrian space. This includes designated walking paths and sidewalks. However, pedestrians can utilize bike lanes to get over sidewalk barriers.
Who Can Legally Use a Crosswalk?
The CVC 21950 notes that vehicles should carefully navigate a crosswalk and need to stop when pedestrians are crossing it. It mandates drivers to be vigilant and slow down so pedestrians can safely walk.
On the other hand, it requires pedestrians not to run and be extra careful when crossing. Pedestrians also shouldn’t stop suddenly or delay the crosswalk, which might confuse drivers.
Pedestrians and Intersectional Crosswalks
Before the Freedom to Walk Act, common pedestrians had no choice but to use crosswalks when traveling to different intersections with signals or traffic lights. With the new law, pedestrians can cross safely without having to worry about violating CVC 21955 and getting a ticket.
Pedestrians and Crossing Lights
Crossing lights work as electronic communication signals to pedestrians that it’s now safe to move to an intersection. Crossing lights pop up a “walk” sign to show that it’s safe for pedestrians to cross. If it’s not safe, crossing lights show “wait” or “don’t walk” signs.
Crossing lights often show a countdown that allows pedestrians to know how much they have to wait before crossing. The CVC 21456 states even when a crossing light communicates to pedestrians that it’s safe to walk – they should allow vehicles in the crosswalk to pass through. Additionally, pedestrians can cross if there’s a blinking light.
However, they should be able to reach the other end before the end of the countdown or signal to walk stops. Remember, drivers cannot block a crosswalk without reason. It also includes unmarked and marked crosswalks.
Similarly, California provides special safety rules to protect blind pedestrians. You may want to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible if you have been involved in a pedestrian accident.
Ultimately, California crosswalk and pedestrian laws revolve around “where” and “when” individuals can walk in public legally. Major takeaways around California pedestrian regulations and laws are:
Pedestrian consists of individuals who walk wearing skates, ride skateboards, and on foot.
Cross-walk laws revolve around negligence, which often makes pedestrians liable.
The compensation of a pedestrian can reduce via comparative fault rules of California.
Once there’s a pedestrian accident, understand that crosswalk laws tie together with personal injury lawsuits.