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Sep 16

Pedestrian Crossing Safety

Posted on September 16, 2019 at 2:25 PM by Susan Greene

Now that school is back in session, it seems appropriate to discuss Illinois traffic law as it relates to pedestrians crossing roadways within the Village of Cary. Both motorists and pedestrians share responsibilities related to avoiding conflicts regarding the use of a roadway.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists must obey traffic signals directed to them, unless directed otherwise by a police officer. [625 ILCS 5/11-1001] If there are no traffic signals, a motorist shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so close from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
However, no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard. A motorist that is stopped and yielding to a pedestrian crossing a roadway, within or not within a crosswalk, may not be passed by a motorist approaching from the rear. [625 ILCS 5/11-1002] Pedestrians crossing roadways at other than crosswalks have an obligation to yield to motor vehicles, even if the pedestrian is physically disabled. [625 ILCS 5/11-1003] The Village of Cary Municipal Code prohibits anyone from crossing a street in a business district at anyplace other than a crosswalk. [Title 10 - Vehicles and Traffic, Chapter 10.44 - Pedestrians, Section 10.44.050(b) - Crosswalk] Drivers must exercise "due caution" to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or person operating a bicycle. [625 ILCS 11-1003.1] This indicates that both pedestrian and motorists share a role in traffic safety.

Motorists entering a crosswalk at a stop intersection, that is an intersection controlled by a stop sign, must stop before entering a crosswalk and yield to any pedestrian entering the crosswalk on either side of the roadway. Additionally, the motorist must also yield to any other pedestrian crossing the roadway in any other crosswalk at the intersection. [625 ILCS 11-903]  When it comes to pedestrians crossing at crosswalks with flashing lights, the color of the light matters. Whenever a crosswalk has red flashing lights installed, motorists must yield to the pedestrian. [625 ILCS 5/11-1002(e)] However, crosswalks equipped with yellow flashing lights only require the motorist to exercise caution as they approach or pass the signal and not necessarily stop. [625 ILCS 5/11-309(2)]

When instructing children to cross roadways, it is important to emphasize that although laws exist to protect pedestrians, the best strategy is to act defensively and assume a vehicle hasn't seen the pedestrian or will not stop. Only until the vehicle has stopped, or the driver acknowledged the pedestrian, should anyone attempt to cross a roadway. By adopting this simple philosophy, it is easy to apply to all situations and assures the safety of the pedestrian.