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The original item was published from 7/8/2016 9:33:00 AM to 7/8/2016 12:39:41 PM.

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Posted on: July 8, 2016

[ARCHIVED] For Your Safety: Pedestrian Crosswalk Laws

There are a few key rules in the Maryland traffic law that you might want to keep in mind as you use the new crosswalk on Connecticut Avenue at Lenox Street:

- The pedestrian crossing at W. Lenox and Connecticut has a warning beacon (flashing yellow light) that is activated when a pedestrian pushes a button; it will then flash for 32 seconds. The beacon does NOT require a vehicle to stop; it merely alerts drivers to the presence of a pedestrian. The beacon will not protect you; your alertness will. Please cross with caution!

- Although a pedestrian has the right-of-way while in a crosswalk, a pedestrian is prohibited from entering the crosswalk when it isn’t safe to do so. The language of section 21-502 of Maryland’s Transportation Article reads:

(b) Duty of pedestrian. -- A pedestrian may not 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.

- Once you are in the crosswalk, all the cars on that half of Connecticut must stop, and they must remain stopped as long as you are on that half of the roadway. For example, if you are coming from the east side of the Village to the Post Office, all the northbound lanes of Connecticut must stop while you are crossing the northbound lanes, but the southbound lanes may continue. Once you proceed onto the southbound lanes, the southbound cars must stop and the northbound traffic may move again. Section 21-502 includes the following relevant language:


(2) The driver of a vehicle shall come to a stop when a
pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:

(i) On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle
is traveling;

In spite of the law giving you the right-of-way while in the crosswalk, please don’t rely on the law to keep you safe; some drivers follow the law, while others don’t. Please give your full time and attention to the cars on the roadway whenever you cross Connecticut Avenue.

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