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Thread: The Ethics of Breaking Traffic Laws

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dplasters View Post
    I dunno, are they 'ands' or 'ors'?
    It can't be "and" for the first item's mid block scenario and the second item, which is all about the end of the block. There would be no point mentioning mid block in #1 if condition #2 were also required, ergo the motor vehicle operator must yield in any of the three conditions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dplasters View Post
    What does it mean to not disregard traffic?
    I take that to mean that a pedestrian should not start speed walking across a crosswalk if the pedestrian can discern that a motorist going 30 MPH is twenty feet away, but that it's perfectly OK to begin crossing if the motorist could reasonably be expected to be capable of stopping or yielding (because the motorist is going slow enough or is far enough away).

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    Here's an interesting twist, according to this article, the distinction between "stop" vs. "yield right of way" is further blurred. It seems to suggest that VA drivers do not actually have to "stop" for anyone in the crosswalk, they only have to "yield right of way". This is also reflected in ACPD's webpage regarding Right of Way Pedestrians Law.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    I take that to mean that a pedestrian should not start speed walking across a crosswalk if the pedestrian can discern that a motorist going 30 MPH is twenty feet away, but that it's perfectly OK to begin crossing if the motorist could reasonably be expected to be capable of stopping or yielding (because the motorist is going slow enough or is far enough away).
    I view that as more of the standard under DC law. It assumes that drivers are paying attention. I think the Virginia standard is to not enter the street unless you can safely get across without drivers modifying their speed and direction. As a defensive cyclist and pedestrian, I think this is generally prudent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by f148vr View Post
    Here's an interesting twist, according to this article, the distinction between "stop" vs. "yield right of way" is further blurred. It seems to suggest that VA drivers do not actually have to "stop" for anyone in the crosswalk, they only have to "yield right of way". This is also reflected in ACPD's webpage regarding Right of Way Pedestrians Law.
    This means drivers can proceed behind a pedestrian before the pedestrian reaches the far curb. It also likely means that a driver on the opposite side can proceed in front of a pedestrian if the car and pedestrian will never be in close proximity.
    The DC says that all cars (that physically can) must stop if a pedestrian steps foot in a sidewalk regardless of whether there is any potential conflict.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I view that as more of the standard under DC law. It assumes that drivers are paying attention. I think the Virginia standard is to not enter the street unless you can safely get across without drivers modifying their speed and direction. As a defensive cyclist and pedestrian, I think this is generally prudent.
    Where I used to live in Annandale, that "Virginia standard" could have meant waiting 30 minutes to cross the street headed towards a crossing over LRT to get to a bus stop (there was also a signaled intersection a quarter mile further down, but no sidewalk on the side I would have had to walk on). It may work in Arlington (or in Alexandria) but there are places in NoVa where it does not.

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    Based on all of this discussion, I think the only prudent thing to do is ban all cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think the Virginia standard is to not enter the street unless you can safely get across without drivers modifying their speed and direction.
    Although my pedestrian experience makes evident that quite a few honking drivers believe that to be the standard, ACPD's crosswalk enforcement stings indicate otherwise. Pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks must allow an alert driver reasonable time to react but are not required to wait all day for a long gap between vehicles or to scurry across just to avoid delaying any drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    Pedestrians at unsignalized crosswalks must allow an alert driver reasonable time to react but are not required to wait all day for a long gap between vehicles or to scurry across just to avoid delaying any drivers.
    but, if you get hit, it will be your fault. I'd be much happier with a "stop" standard, but try to get that through the general assembly.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I view that as more of the standard under DC law. It assumes that drivers are paying attention. I think the Virginia standard is to not enter the street unless you can safely get across without drivers modifying their speed and direction. As a defensive cyclist and pedestrian, I think this is generally prudent.
    While this is practically the way to minimize your chance of being hit, that doesn't make any sense as the standard in the law, because it would negate the part of the law that requires drivers to yield.

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