I know pedestrians in the city can get a little crazy and if you’re a driver they’re your worst enemy on the road. Although when you’re out walking somewhere, the drivers are the bad guys. It goes both ways but that doesn’t mean rules of the road should be ignored. I don’t know how many times I’ve stood at a crosswalk and had 20 cars breeze right past me. Not only do they have to stop, not doing so can land them hefty fines.
On August 28, 2007, Officers from the Vancouver Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting several crosswalk safety enforcements throughout the city. An officer wearing plainclothes will be posing as a pedestrian crossing at various crosswalks, while other officers nearby will be looking for drivers committing speeding, failure to yield and other violations. [VPD]
I’ve seen these types of stings before in Surrey and within only a few hours dozens of drivers were ticketed for failing to stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians pass. More importantly, if you’re driving along a 2 lane road and the person on the right or left stops for a crosswalk, make sure you’re paying attention and stop as well. I’ve also been in that situation where one lane will stop for you and the other doesn’t.
Pedestrian-controlled intersections are an entirely different breed and apparently unique to this area. I recently found a write up about them on a travel site:
The flashing green light is a “Pedestrian Crosswalk”. It stays flashing green so you can continue to drive through the crosswalk and do not need to stop, but once a pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button the green light turns solid red stopping the traffic letting the pedestrian cross. Do not stop your vehicle on a green light or you might get a rude awakening from behind by another car. [TravelEtiquette]
Special note here, if you are approaching a ‘flashing green light’ intersection from the sides, you probably still have a stop sign in front of you. If the light turns red for the oncoming traffic to your left and right, you still have to STOP at the stop sign, then proceed into the intersection when it’s safe to do so. Yes, I’m talking to all the drivers crossing Robson Street that completely ignore stop signs when approaching it from a side street and just zoom through intersections at full speed, without even a pause.
According to this site, it’s $167 for failing to stop at a crosswalk, so perhaps that will act as a deterrent, especially with children being back at school. It’s the same fine as if you fail to stop for a school bus or stop for a crossing guard. Regardless of road rage, walk rage, bike rage etc. crosswalks should be a safe place, and I’d much rather use one than risk jaywalking and pissing off motorists, getting a fine or getting hit.