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Insight from WFPD: Give pedestrians the brake; be sure to yield

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opinion Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

Summer activities are in full swing with many people enjoying the warmer weather by walking or running. Kids will soon begin summer programs that will require them to cross busy streets. A frequent complaint to the police department is vehicles not stopping for pedestrians attempting to cross the roadway. Here are the regulations relating to vehicle operators and when they must yield to the pedestrian.

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13-1302. Right-of-way of pedestrians when intersection is regulated.

No vehicle shall cross a crosswalk where traffic is regulated by a police officer or a system of traffic control signals until pedestrians who have properly commenced to cross the street have completed their passage across in front of such vehicles, and any vehicle permitted to turn to either right or left shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians who are proceeding on crosswalks in a direction authorized by the officer or traffic signal, and failure to yield such right-of-way shall be a violation of this section.

13-1303. Right-of-way of pedestrians when an intersection is not regulated.

1. Where traffic control signals are not in place or in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to yield to a pedestrian crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

2. 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.

3. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake or pass such stopped vehicle.

Often times a pedestrian will stand at the curb waiting for the break in traffic that will allow them the opportunity to cross safely. When drivers fail to yield to the pedestrian as required the pedestrian will ultimately risk the crossing by darting into traffic. Drivers are then forced to take evasive action. An unsafe condition develops for both the pedestrian and the other vehicles on the roadway.

Extending the courtesy to the pedestrian by stopping and allowing for a well-planned crossing improves safety for the pedestrian and the motoring public. Do your part to provide an accident free summer by giving pedestrians the brake.

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