Multimedia Whaaah! Hurling yourself into traffic like a confused deer Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterPrint By David Gillette | 02/28/2014 If you want any proof that society is crumbling around us, just try to use a crosswalk these days. Share this:EmailFacebookTwitterPrint Name: Email: Comment: Get MinnPost in your email inbox: Sign up You can also learn about all our free newsletter options. Comments (6) Submitted by Bill Lindeke on 02/28/2014 - 04:06 pm. hm you could mount an expensive and probably irrelevant massive sting operation or design bumpouts, streets, and crosswalks that are actually useful Log in to Reply Submitted by Scott Shaffer on 03/01/2014 - 10:36 am. What the law says I agree with Mr. Lindeke. Let’s build streets that allow pedestrians to exercise their state-given rights: “Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk.” So any intersection without a traffic light, pedestrians have the right of way, no matter if there’s a marked crosswalk. Log in to Reply Submitted by Dave Hafner on 02/26/2015 - 09:28 pm. Right of way Scott, Your approach is all wrong and exactly why we have so many accidents today. I know, I know. You don’t want to hear it, but hear me out. Pedestrians only have the right of way when they are IN the crosswalk AND when they are not stepping out in front of traffic. They do NOT have the right of way while waiting on the curb, nor should they. And they relinquish this right (in the crosswalk) if they step out in front of oncoming traffic. So no, pedestrians DO NOT always have the right of way. This is a common misconception, and it’s killing people like flies. If a car has to slow down or hit their brakes at all, the pedestrian is making a basic mistake (leaving too early). And threatening their own safety, as well as the drivers. Every time a pedestrian gets hit it is because that pedestrian is utilizing poor judgement and making a fundamental, yet serious mistake. Sometimes a series of mistakes. If you don’t believe any of this talk to a personal injury and accident attorney. Any police officer will work as well. And if you really want to get the facts instead of falling for all the propaganda and misinformation that abounds, read the Minnesota State Statutes. Particularly Minnesota State Statute 169.21 Surprisingly, there really aren’t that many and it won’t take long to read. Do not listen to the newscasters or believe what you read in the newspapers. Journalists are some of the worst at spreading misinformation. They are right up there with the worst-bicyclist organizations. The St. Paul Pioneer misquoted the Minnesota Crosswalk Law TWICE in the last six months!?!?! They only retracted their mistake once and only about five people saw it. Thousands, on the other hand, are utilizing the faulty information to reach the conclusion that they can just step into a street unconditionally. They find out too late in a court of law (assuming they survive). If you can’t bring yourself to see the truth, and insist on challenging drivers and expecting the world to ensure your safety, good luck. But it’s a losing battle. You are primarily and ultimately responsible for your own safety. Safe drivers can only do so much to protect unsafe pedestrians. Unsafe drivers only compound the problem. I know. I know. The laws are screwed up and that doesn’t help. Just another reason why you have to rely on your own survival skills to navigate our incredibly dangerous streets. In the end, I hope you are doing a better job of teaching your children how to cross a street. And I wish you and yours a long, happy, and healthy life. Log in to Reply Submitted by Jeremy Brezovan on 03/01/2014 - 11:24 am. Ideal sting location This is so timely–I was just complaining about this the other day! If the police are looking for suggestions, I recommend the intersection of 5th Ave S and Washington. I’ve had so many close calls with drivers turning off of 5th that I’ve lost count. Log in to Reply Submitted by Todd Hintz on 03/02/2014 - 10:32 am. Crossing I usually have fairly good experiences crossing roads. I live on a busy street and last week I was trying to cross to get to my bus stop. It was morning rush hour on one of our many below zero days and when traffic cleared from one direction there were cars coming from the other way. The next thing I know though a car heading east had stopped for me and was holding up cars behind him. When I peeked out from my parka a car in the other direction was coasting to a stop, ready to let me go. I gave them both a very thankful nod as I carefully made my way across the icy street. In front of work though it can be a different story. There’s a marked crosswalk with half a dozen signs saying “State law! Stop for pedestrian in crosswalk.” Most people are pretty good about it, but every now and then there’s someone who’s not paying attention or thinks the rules don’t apply to them. That’s when the creative methodology comes into play. I take a step into the intersection and fling an arm out in each direction, palms out, in the universal sign to STOP! It’s fun to watch the drivers finally realize there’s a person in the crosswalk and they really need to stop. Works like a charm every time. Log in to Reply Submitted by Steve Titterud on 03/02/2014 - 12:20 pm. Years ago, I was visiting in California for the first time,… …and, unawares of the traffic laws, I prepared to dash across a fast and busy street between 2 intersections by stepping off the curb. I was astonished to see ALL traffic, in both directions, come to a screeching halt at the moment I stepped off the curb !! I wasn’t even partway out into the street yet. I don’t know what their laws are like now, but at that time, the pedestrian ALWAYS had the right of way. It didn’t even matter if the pedestrian was jaywalking in a violation of his own. When I talked with my friends from California about this incident, they noted that pretty much all drivers were wary of pedestrians because the law was strictly enforced, the penalties were severe, and so no one messed with it. They also noted that all drivers were made aware that the pedestrian’s right to the roadway began when he first stepped off the curb, NOT when he got all the way into the street. 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