California Vehicle Code: CVC 21950 Pedestrian Crosswalk
California Vehicle Code § 21950 requires you to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the road at an intersection when they are within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
The code does state that the pedestrian has a duty of using care when crossing but a driver must “exercise all due care” and reduce the speed of the vehicle to avoid injury to a pedestrian. In other words, you can receive a California traffic ticket for failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in a crosswalk because you have a duty of care.
If you are found guilty of violating CVC § 21950, you can face a fine of $238 and one point on your driver’s license.
Failure to Yield Right of Way in a Crosswalk is Illegal and Dangerous
In addition to a traffic ticket, you may face other criminal and civil penalties for failing to yield the right of way in a crosswalk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,735 pedestrians were killed in the United States in vehicle accidents during 2013. In California, 701 pedestrians lost their lives in crosswalk accidents. The average for 2013 is one pedestrian killed every two hours and one pedestrian injured every eight minutes in crosswalk accidents.
The news is filled with stories of pedestrian injuries and deaths throughout California due to crosswalk violations.
A woman was critically injured after saving her granddaughter from a hit-and-run driver while they were crossing the street at La Brea Avenue and Queen Street in Inglewood, CA. A man was killed in a crosswalk hit-and-run accident in San Juan Capistrano, CA as he was walking in a crosswalk.
Failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk is also a problem at California schools. A 15-year old girl was seriously injured in Modesto, CA and two 13-year old girls were injured in Rohnert Park, CA. All of the children were in crosswalks at the time of the injury.
To avoid criminal and civil penalties, reduce distractions while driving so that you can focus on the road ahead of you. By keeping your eyes focused on the road, you can obey California’s crosswalk laws and avoid causing injury to another person.
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