What are the rules when waiting for a pedestrian to cross?

This question has two answers, depending if the pedestrian is at an intersection with or without operational traffic lights

As a pedestrian in Vancouver, I am feeling increasingly at risk, says a visitor to the DriveSmartBC website.

Drivers want to manoeuvre behind pedestrians as soon as they can. What is the law about proceeding when the pedestrian is still on the street?

This question has two answers, depending if the pedestrian is at an intersection with or without operational traffic lights.

If the scenario takes place at an intersection with traffic lights, a driver must yield to pedestrians crossing lawfully and then may proceed as soon as it is safe to do so.

Drivers must always exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian on the highway.

In this situation, it would be wise for the driver to consider how closely they would appreciate vehicles to pass by them if the positions were reversed.

If this takes place at an intersection with no traffic lights or where the traffic lights are not in operation, a driver must not travel on the half of the highway occupied by the pedestrian or where the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the other half of the highway that the pedestrian would be in danger.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

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