Believe it or not, pedestrians in California need to mind to the California Vehicle Code. Isn’t that something?*
That’s lesson one. Before we get to lesson two, check out this morning’s Mini-Sermon** on Ped Rights or something at Bike NOPA. Now, do pedestrians really want, “to cross the street without getting hit?” Most do but a few don’t. And the good bulk of them seem indifferent to the risks of collision, indifferent to the laws that rule their behaviour.
That brings us to lesson two: Pedestrians are not allowed to stare at the DON”T WALK signal and then start walking when the green WALK signal comes on, oh no. You see, you need to check for “vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time.” That language is in there around Section 21456, see below.
So, you don’t need to look both ways, no. That’s advice or something, not the law. But what you need to do is look just one way, look in the direction where the traffic is coming from in the lane you about to set foot on. If a car or a bus or a bike is about to hit you, then you need to hold up, right? If you get hit, then it’s your fault, can you imagine? You, the Sainted Pedestrian, actually have to consider Other People before walking, Under Da Law ‘n stuff.
Now, some drivers enter intersections when they have the red. Bad form. Feel free to ignore those people because it’ll be their fault when they hit you and then you and your shyster will get rich (well, you, maybe not so much) with a nice settlement, one would hope. But you have to know if the driver ran the red, and, to know that, you need to look.
Or, you can do whatever the Hell you want, the way most everybody else does. Your choice.
Uh oh, they’re not doing it the right way, just like every day:
Now, are San Francisco drivers the worst in California? I don’t know. It’s kind of a state-wide thing, where driving, more or less, is a right, not a privilege.
But SF peds are the worst in the state because of the attitude thing.
“21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DONT WALK” or other approved symbol is in place, the
signal shall indicate as follows: (a) “WALK” or approved “Walking Person” symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown. (b) Flashing or steady “DONT WALK” or “WAIT” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or
otherwise leave the roadway while the “WAIT” or “DONT WALK” or approved “Upraised Hand” symbol is showing.
21456.1. Whenever an official traffic control signal exhibiting an approved “Walking Person” symbol, an approved “Upraised Hand” symbol,
or the words “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” is shown concurrently with official traffic control signals exhibiting the words “GO” or ”CAUTION” or “STOP” or exhibiting different colored lights successively, one at a time or with arrows, a pedestrian facing those traffic control signals shall obey the “Walking Person,” “Upraised Hand,” “WALK” or “WAIT” or “DON’T WALK” control signal as provided in
*Why don’t we change it, man, so that car drivers have to obey the Pedestrian Code, man?
**Look Out, There’s a Twist! It’s just like in that Crying Game movie, didn’t see that one coming a parsec away…