What is the Legality?

I decided to make a new post instead of add to the comments of the New Sign on Campus. Here’s the email I sent (names have been changed to initials):

NB,

I am having a debate with some of my friends about the legality of having pedestrians yield to cars on campus streets. I took a look at the Colorado Revised Statue and was wondering how the rule is reconciled with the following sections of the CRS:

Colorado Revised Statute:
Title 42, Article 4, Section 802: Pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks.
1) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

Title 42, Article 4, Section 803: Crossing at other than crosswalks.
1) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

Title 42, Article 4, Section 807: Drivers to exercise due care.
Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this article, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway. Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.
My thought was that Section 802 only applies to pedestrians in a crosswalk, but that raises the questions of what crosswalk is defined as. I looked for a definition, but did not find one; thus, it could be argued that the installation of wheelchair ramps on the curb could constitute a crosswalk. My other thought was that Section 803 makes use of the terms “marked crosswalk” and “unmarked crosswalk”. Since the wording in Section 802 only refers to a “crosswalk” (making no mention of marked or unmarked), perhaps crosswalks exist at all intersections which lack any sign that prohibits crossing.

Sincerely,

Andrew Ferguson

…and the response…

Andrew: Your comments are well thought out and I am impressed with your research. I am forwarding your comments to my boss and to the sergeants for an appropriate response.

Thank you,

NB

2 Replies to “What is the Legality?”

  1. Pingback: Forty Faces
  2. Here’s my take:
    1) This is a provision for “when traffic controls are not in place.” The yield sign itself is a traffic control..

    2) This is what the sign says, basically.

    3) This is also consistent with the new sign, because it is always reasonable to avoid hitting a pedestrian. It doesn’t take away from the fact that the pedestrian is required to yield. The pedestrian has no right to jaywalk, nor does the driver have a right to run over the pedestrian if he jaywalks.

    As far as your point, I think it is true that every intersection contains unmarked crosswalks where crossing isn’t otherwise prohibited. But the sign deals with the other case, where there is no crosswalk and no intersection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *