Comment 121755

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:05:17 in reply to Comment 121754

A few years ago I tried to get to the bottom of what the law says about right of way at an uncontrolled intersection. In an uncontrolled crossing, responsibility is shared between drivers and pedestrians:

  • Pedestrians are responsible to wait for a gap in traffic that is large enough that drivers have an opportunity to yield; and
  • Drivers are responsible to yield to a pedestrian who is crossing the intersection.

There is no legal requirement for drivers to yield for a pedestrian who merely wants to cross the street; the pedestrian must already be crossing. On the other hand, the pedestrian does not have to wait for a gap big enough to cross entirely without any cars having to slow down; merely to wait for a gap big enough that drivers can reasonably yield.

The rules around uncontrolled crossings are poorly understood by most drivers and pedestrians alike. They require pedestrians to make a live analysis of traffic (i.e. distance and speed of approaching automobiles) that is subject to interpretation and dispute from drivers who may be reluctant to yield - not to mention an act of faith that those drivers will actually understand their responsibility to yield.

It is for this reason that the Ontario Government revived and updated the rules and design guidelines for Pedestrian Crossovers (PXOs), which are a type of controlled crossing that have the advantage of signage/signals and clear rules requiring drivers to yield once the PXO has been activated. The City of Hamilton has begun installing PXOs within the past year.

PXO on the Escarpment Rail Trail at Lime Ridge Road East

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2017-07-25 10:05:42

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