My mom always tells me to be careful when running around in the city (loose fit for Wooster, I know). I usually shrug her off and think, "Hey, I am a pedestrian and pedestrians always have the right-of-way, right?" Actually, no - not always. See below based on ORC Section 4511.46:
(A) When traffic control signals are not in place, not in operation, or are not clearly assigning the right- of-way, the driver of a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield or if required by section 4511.132 of the Revised Code, 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.
(B) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
It seems pretty self explanatory, right? That's not really what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is following the laws. When I'm running and if a traffic light is red for the vehicles that are going in my direction I stop too. So far so good, but there are a couple of potential pit falls:
1) When the light turns green and the walk indicator is showing (you know the little white guy that lights up) the car that is traveling in the opposite direction wants to turn into the crosswalk where I will imminently be or
2) The driver of the vehicle going in my direction wants to turn right and subsequently drive directly into me and whatever dogs I may have.
It was his or her God-given right to drive their two ton bringer-of-death closer to the destination while I stand there in utter shock and disbelief. At least the driver saved a couple of seconds out of their commute. I have luckily never been hit but I have had more close calls than I'd care to think about. It has turned me into a defensive walker and that's just the way it has to be because with today's JIT (just in time) delivery schedule and everyone's rushed status going to and fro, it does not pay to follow the laws as a pedestrian. It pays to wait a few seconds and continue on foot once it has been deemed that safe passage may occur.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was killed every 85 minutes and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes in 2019.
Each year, more than 6,000 pedestrians are killed on the roadways in the United States.
Sobering statistics, but a reality nonetheless. So do pedestrians have the right-of-way? Depends if you are driving or not.
Stay tuned for more uplifting content!
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