Walk Or Not Walk: Who Actually Has Right Of Way In New York?
Over the last year or so, I noticed the installation of street signs in Binghamton at various crosswalks that have strobes that flash when a button is activated. It's designed to make crossing the street safer for pedestrians. I think that's a great idea. When they are flashing and a pedestrian is about to cross, motorists need to stop.
Do Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way?
According to the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, there are tips you may not be aware of. For example, pedestrians must use the sidewalk when available, but if it's not, you need to walk facing traffic. Also, if the crossing sign says don't cross, obey that signal.
Also, the New York State GTSC states that in the case of no crosswalks, signs, or signals, a pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to vehicles. I've wondered exactly what this rule was. Obviously, if a pedestrian crosses anyway in this instance in front of me, I am going to obviously yield just the same, although I'm not going to be happy that the pedestrian is ignoring the rule and darting out in front of traffic without a care in the world.
Why Are New Yorkers Less Likely To Yield To Crosswalks?
During my travels, I've noticed in many states, motorists yielding to pedestrians every time at a crosswalk, including Pennsylvania, but not so much in New York. Why is that? Are we just being typical road rage New Yorkers? I don't know. Even at new flashing light sign crosswalks, I've seen a pedestrian waiting for traffic to stop. That is until I've reached the crosswalk and stopped.
I understand many of us are in a hurry to get from one place to another quickly, but we need to be aware and courteous of pedestrians and crosswalks as well. Check out more tips for your safety as a motorist as a pedestrian on the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website.
Welcome to Pedestrian Safety Month
October is Pedestrian Safety Month and The Broome County Stop DWI program Facebook page has an interesting tip I was not aware of: