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Californians: Follow the crosswalk to stay safe on the road

The roadways of Hayward and Northern California are filled with painted lines. Double yellow lines. Broken white lines. Lines for a bike lane. Lines for a turn lane.

Then there’s those two parallel lines that connect one side of the road to the other: the crosswalk.

Whether we’re driving a car, walking or riding a bike, we must pay attention to the rules of crosswalk safety. They are worth a quick reminder here.

For pedestrians:

  • Always cross the street at the marked crosswalk, even if it means walking a few extra steps to get there. There is no shortcut to safety.
  • Obey pedestrian signals. Don’t cross on a red light, for example.
  • Look left, then right, then left again before crossing.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you and know you are crossing the road.
  • When one driver stops for you to cross, don’t go automatically. Make sure all the lanes on the street are clear.

For bicyclists:

  • Pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalk.
  • You are not considered a pedestrian unless you are walking your bike
  • Follow the traffic signals and laws of the road.
  • Use caution when you go between bike paths, roads and sidewalks. Drivers and pedestrians can’t always accurately predict your next move.

For drivers:

  • Yield to pedestrians at intersections and in crosswalks.
  • Scan the road for crosswalks you’ll be approaching. Reduce your speed as you approach crosswalks and be prepared to stop.
  • Watch for skateboarders and bicyclists who might be approaching crosswalks. They are faster than pedestrians and will reach the crosswalk sooner.
  • Come to a complete stop as pedestrians are preparing to cross or are in the crosswalk. Don’t resume driving until pedestrians have gone at least one lane past the lane your car is in.
  • Don’t pass another vehicle that has stopped at a crosswalk. There is a reason that car has stopped.

Drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists must be aware at all times on the road. If you are a pedestrian injured because of the negligence of another who has failed to follow the rules of the road, a California attorney can discuss with you how to recoup any losses you’ve incurred, such as lost wages or medical bills.