With two serious accidents in Main Street Crosswalks in recent weeks, the Bishop Police report that officers will perform a crosswalk enforcement sting in the near future. Two different men suffered life threatening injuries after being hit by vehicles driving through crosswalks in the last two weeks.
Police say that the intent of the sting operation is to deter drivers from violating a pedestrians right of way when they enter the crosswalk. A crosswalk sting operation involves a decoy who attempts to cross at the crosswalk while a nearby officer writes tickets for violations.
There are a number of perceptions as to what the crosswalk rules actually are. Does a driver have to wait until the pedestrian is all the way across the street on the opposite sidewalk, or can the driver proceed once the pedestrian is no longer in the lane in front of the car?
When we asked Bishop Police Chief Kathleen Sheehan in the past for a clarification, she explained that there is a reason for the confusion. It turns out that the law states that the driver can move on once the pedestrian is safely out of the way. This leaves room for interpretation both ways.
So whats a driver supposed to do, wait for pedestrian to walk curb to curb, or just until the pedestrian is out of the lane in front of them? Chief Sheehan explained that its safest to wait, but the Bishop Police wont ticket as long as the pedestrian has cleared the lane safely.
Another little known rule on crosswalks is that the lines dont always have to be marked on the pavement to be considered a crosswalk. If you cross the street between any two street corners, not diagonally of course, its a legal crosswalk.