This sign just got thrown up in the middle of the road near my house, which isn’t a big deal for me because I have an uncanny ability to read. You would think that a sign that says “State Law Stop for (Walkers!) WITHIN Crosswalk” would be clear enough… but it’s not. This specific crosswalk causes many drivers who can’t tell the difference between the word “within” from “loitering around” which causes many rear end collisions or near misses.
Don’t think I am doing the right thing when I zoom past some walkers waiting? Check out the law. It’s even simplified for people who can’t do any form of technical reading at from the Minnesota Safety Council.
Where traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, a driver must stop for a pedestrian crossing within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. A vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk can proceed once the pedestrian has completely crossed the lane in front of the stopped vehicle.
A pedestrian must not enter a crosswalk if a vehicle is approaching. There is no defined distance that a pedestrian must abide by before entering the crosswalk, but common sense should prevail. The law states: “No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.”
When a vehicle is stopped at an intersection to allow pedestrians to cross the roadway, drivers of other vehicles approaching from the rear must not pass the other vehicle.
It’s unlawful for the driver of a motor vehicle to proceed through a group of school children crossing a street or highway, or past a member of a school safety patrol or adult crossing guard who is directing children across the roadway and who is holding an official signal in the stop position.
Failure to obey the law is a misdemeanor. A second violation within one year is a gross misdemeanor.
Cities can designate crosswalks for longer illumination of “Walk” “Don’t Walk” signal lights. Intersections where there is a high concentration of pedestrians, senior citizens, school children, etc., qualify for such designation. District councils, community clubs, or other organizations can petition their city councils to designate these crosswalks.
Do you always stop for pedestrians assuming they have the right of way? Do you get angry when cars don’t stop for you as a pedestrian? I’d like to hear your thoughts on crosswalks.