Cop Talk: What are the laws pertaining to crosswalks?ASK THE ALEXANDRIA POLICE DEPARTMENT Q: What are the laws that apply to crosswalks? A: Minnesota state statute is quite clear on what pedestrians’ responsibilities are as well as what the responsibilities of people driving a motor vehicle are relating to crosswalks.
By: Officer Tony Kuhnau, Alexandria Echo Press
ASK THE ALEXANDRIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Q: What are the laws that apply to crosswalks?
A: Minnesota state statute is quite clear on what pedestrians’ responsibilities are as well as what the responsibilities of people driving a motor vehicle are relating to crosswalks.
Subd. 1. Obey traffic-control signals. Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic-control signals at intersections as declared in this chapter, but at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this section and section 169.22.
Subd. 2. Rights in absence of signal. (a) Where traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped. 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.
(b) When any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
(c) It is unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle through a column of school children crossing a street or highway or past a member of a school safety patrol or adult crossing guard, while the member of the school safety patrol or adult crossing guard is directing the movement of children across a street or highway and while the school safety patrol member or adult crossing guard is holding an official signal in the stop position. A peace officer may arrest the driver of a motor vehicle if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the driver has operated the vehicle in violation of this paragraph within the past four hours.
(d) A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who violates this subdivision a second or subsequent time within one year of a previous conviction under this subdivision is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Subd. 3. Crossing between intersections. (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
So, what does all that mean? It means that people driving a motor vehicle must yield to pedestrian(s) in a crosswalk, until those pedestrian(s) has crossed the lane of travel that the vehicle is in. A crosswalk can be painted on the road, or it may not be. In reading Subd. 2 of this law, it states that a crosswalk can be unmarked at an intersection, meaning that at corners of intersections where lines are not painted, it is still considered a crosswalk. Also, if one vehicle stops for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, another vehicle approaching from behind the first vehicle shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
There is responsibility on the pedestrians’ part as well. Pedestrians are to obey the traffic control signal that indicates when they are to cross or not cross the roadway. Pedestrians are not allowed to suddenly leave the curb or other place of safety, or run into the path of vehicle which is so close it makes it impossible for a driver to yield. Also, if a pedestrian chooses to cross a street or highway at any point other than a crosswalk, the pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Following these simple rules will make driving as well as crossing the road easier and safer.
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The Alexandria Police Department and the Echo Press have teamed together to create “Cop Talk, Ask the Alexandria Police Department.” Each article will feature an answer to a question from a reader, a safety tip or some timely topic.