Many drivers don’t realize that they have to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Many pedestrians don’t realize this either and are very timid when they need to cross the street. Drivers are required by law to yield the right of way to pedestrians in a marked and unmarked crosswalk. The illustration to the left shows 3 different types of crosswalks, two have pavement markings and one does not.
Motorists should watch ahead for pedestrians at or approaching the curb and slow or stop to allow people to cross the street. As soon as a person puts a foot off the curb, they are in the crosswalk and should be allowed to cross the street.
Many people are timid pedestrians and wait minutes until the entire road is clear of cars before they attempt to cross even though they have a legal right to cross the street. Other times people will dash across to fit in a smaller gap, assuming the cars will not slow or stop for them. Pedestrians cannot legally dart into traffic, and must give motorists appropriate and safe distance to stop before stepping off the curb, but they need not be wait forever. A good rule of thumb for a safe stopping distance on a street with a speed limit of 30mph or lower is half a block. Once there is a safe gap, a person should step off the curb and begin walking assertively across the street.
Pedestrians can even signal their intention to cross the street, but should remain vigilant in case the motorist does not stop.