133154
133113
Behind-the-Wheel

Ready or not, here I come

There was an interesting post on Twitter this week showing drivers interacting with pedestrians at the intersection of Cambie Street and West Broadway in Vancouver.

The photo showed three cars facing a green light trying to turn onto Cambie from Broadway, two eastbound turning left and one westbound turning right into their respective lanes on Broadway.

There was a steady stream of pedestrians crossing Cambie against a red, don't-walk signal.

Judging from the circumstances, some of the pedestrians had started to cross against the signal.

Two cars had stopped at the edge of the marked crosswalk, but one driver was doing his best to force his way through the pedestrians and was almost completely within the crosswalk.

There is so much wrong with the situation that it is difficult to know where to start.

Perhaps the most important point to begin with is the driver's duty to not collide with pedestrians, regardless of the fact that the pedestrians may not be following the rules.

Forcing your vehicle through the flow of pedestrians in the crosswalk is a clear violation of this duty.

Next, a green light does not automatically grant a driver permission to enter the intersection. There are situations when the driver must yield to other traffic before starting to move.

While the section does say:

"...must yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully in the intersection or in an adjacent crosswalk at the time the green light is exhibited,"

we still have to consider the duty mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Finally, drivers are not supposed to block the intersection. You should not start into the intersection unless you have a reasonable belief that you can complete your intended movement without impeding other traffic.

These pedestrians are regulated by the walk/don't walk signals at the intersection. You must not step off of the curb unless the white pedestrian signal is lit.

Both the solid and the flashing red hand signals mean that you have to wait for the next cycle.

Also, contrary to what some believe, the countdown timer (if the signals are so equipped) does not mean that you have the number of seconds shown to get across.

I'll close with the observation that courtesy doesn't seem to be a concept included in the use of our streets and highways these days. Me First! is often the attitude shown to others.

A little consideration could go a long way to reducing both our crash and insurance rates. We would also arrive at our destination in a better frame of mind.

Story URL: http://www.drivesmartbc.ca/aggressive-driving/ready-or-not-here-i-come

COMMENTS WELCOME

Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.



More Behind the Wheel articles

57844
About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

To comment, please email

To learn more, visit DriveSmartBC



50852
The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories



57642


57458