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Pedestrian Safety and Right-Of-Way Laws - LCSO Tip Of The Week


With the end of Daylight Savings Time, many of us are leaving work after dusk.

As always, it’s important that we take an extra moment to consider pedestrians. 

Too often, in collisions with cars, pedestrians end up the losers.

Oregon crosswalk laws were written to provide a buffer of safety for pedestrians on the roadway.

What’s the law for drivers?

-A crosswalk exists at any public street intersection, whether marked with paint or unmarked.  Crosswalks also exist between intersections (mid-block) only if they are marked with white painted lines.  Under Oregon law (ORS 811.028) a driver has specific duties to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked.

-When turning at a traffic signal, drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians until they have cleared the lane into which the vehicle is turning and at least six feet of the next lane.  At any other crosswalks-whether marked with paint or unmarked - drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians until they have cleared the lane in which the vehicle is traveling and the next lane.  Stop and remain stopped for students as directed by a crossing guard.  Stop and remain stopped for a blind pedestrian using a white cane or a guide dog until the pedestrian is completely across the roadway.

-Drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians may be issued a citation carrying a hefty fine.

What’s the law for pedestrians?

-Oregon laws affect pedestrians too; even though vehicles are always required to use due care when operating around pedestrians. -Pedestrians are required to obey traffic signals and walk safely. Pedestrians are also required to yield to vehicles.  Pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly moving from a place of safety into the path of a vehicle so close as to constitute a hazard. 

-Pedestrians are also required to yield to a vehicle when crossing the roadway at any point other than a crosswalk.

-Pedestrians who fail to comply with laws governing pedestrian movement may be issued a citation carrying a fine.

Safety Tips:

-Remember; under Oregon law there is a crosswalk at every intersection.

-Don’t pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk.  A stopped car may be a clue that a pedestrian is crossing.  When stopped for a crosswalk on a multi-lane road, you should stop about 30 feet before the crosswalk so you don’t block visibility to a driver in a second lane.

-When stopping at an intersection, don’t block the crosswalk.  This forces pedestrians to go around your vehicle and puts them in a dangerous situation.Watch for pedestrians, especially children, when exiting driveways or when backing out of parking spaces in parking lots.

-Pedestrians move at different speeds.  Be alert to children who may suddenly dart into the street.  Be patient with older adults who take extra time to cross the street.

-When motorists and pedestrians work as a team, everyone benefits!

For more tips and information, visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon

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