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, some of whom had started to cross against the signal.
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 themselves. Forcing your vehicle through the flow of pedestrians in the crosswalk is a clear violation of this duty.
A green light does not automatically grant a driver permission to enter 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.
Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, visit DriveSmartBC.ca