ASK A COP — Do pedestrians have right of way in lanes and parking spots?
Published 12:10 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Tony asks: I’ve read where the pedestrians have the right of way in the cross walk before, but how about in the lanes and parking spots? What are the rights of pedestrians? Who has the right of way there?
Answer: You are correct, Tony. The pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk! Now that right of way does NOT apply when walking from your vehicle in the parking lot and returning to your vehicle in the parking lot unless there is a cross walk the entire journey. I believe the pedestrian and driver BOTH must exercise Due Care for each other when walking and driving in a parking lot. I personally would place more of the care on me if I was a pedestrian, because a pedestrian vs. a car will NEVER win. I urge all pedestrians to walk against the flow of traffic so you can see what’s approaching. NEVER walk in the middle of a lane. I urge drivers to abide by the advisory speed sign that will be either 5 or 10 mph and never exceed that for the safety of those walking. Keep in mind that our parking lots are now filled with happy and frustrated parents, and their children are out of school so they will be excited and running. Because it’s private property, there is no state law regarding the direction of travel of pedestrians or their right of way outside of the crosswalk.
Payton asks: I know we are in the age of cameras and catching everything on film, so to speak. I was wondering your thoughts about a dashboard camera that we citizens can install in our vehicles?
Answer: As we all know in my line of business of traffic enforcement (issuing citations/tickets), I’m not normally a welcomed officer. I think you bring up something (dash camera) that is very popular in other countries and the western states of this country, but it hasn’t bloomed yet in Texas. Dashboard cameras are able to aid law enforcement officers with footage of what actually happened prior to, during and, even, after an event. Dashboard cameras have been able to capture natural disasters like tornadoes, hail, lightning strikes, hurricane force winds and more. I don’t think a dashboard camera is a bad thing because it doesn’t require the driver to do anything that would distract he or she while driving, as long as they turn it on and start recording at the beginning of their journey. We are in the age now, where everybody wants to SEE what happens rather than be TOLD what happened. Cameras are EVERYWHERE on cell phones, homes, elevators, businesses, churches, in some cities at the intersections, and many police officers have body cams on their uniform shirt. Dashboard camera’s can only HELP you, not hurt.
Jessica asks: I have a question about yield signs at stop lights intersections. My husband and I often travel down Twin City highway and come to the intersection at Saba Lane. To the right of the traffic signal there is a divider to travel east of Saba Lane with a yield sign. Which traffic device are we supposed to obey — the traffic signal or yield sign? My husband always stop because he read where you said you must STOP when at a traffic signal when turning right. But I believe he can yield. Should we stop or yield?
Answer: There are so many intersections, and many of the intersections are not the same. Normally at an intersection, the motorist must come to a complete STOP before turning right on a RED traffic signal, but at the intersection of Twin City Highway and Saba Lane, it’s different. You are correct to obey the yield sign when traveling north on Twin City, approaching Saba Lane and turning right at the divider. You do NOT have to come to a complete stop, as long as you have safely YIELDED to the traffic before continuing on to Saba Lane. Now with that said, there is nothing wrong if your husband or any motorist decides to STOP at a YIELD sign. I’m kinda like your husband. I advocate to air on the side of caution, better safe than sorry.
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