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Old 09-12-05, 08:50 AM   #1
toddw
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Cyclist charged in pedistrian's death

Anybody know more details about this?

Cyclist charged with manslaughter after hitting, killing pedestrian


CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- A bicyclist has been charged with manslaughter after he struck and killed a pedestrian, police said.



Jean Calder, 71, died at Good Samaritan Hospital after she was struck Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.



Calder had the right of way when the bike rider struck her, Noble said.



Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:37 AM   #2
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http://www.gazettetimes.com/articles...nity/mon02.txt

This is what confuses me when people say no test should be needed for a bicycle. And then go on to say stupid things like should there be a test to be a pedestrian?
Although a bike may not be as dangerous as say a car, a 15kg bike traveling at 15mph will do some damage. Whilst a nice squishy pedestrian walking at 5mph isn't!
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Old 09-12-05, 09:53 AM   #3
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Funny how they are quick to charge a cyclist with manslaughter, while it perfectly acceptable for motorized vehicles to mow down cyclists with impunity.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddw
<snip> she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk <snip>
what is an unmarked crosswalk?
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Old 09-12-05, 10:11 AM   #5
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what is an unmarked crosswalk?
That's what I was wondering. At any rate, it looks like he failed to stop at a stop sign, perhaps?
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Old 09-12-05, 10:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
Funny how they are quick to charge a cyclist with manslaughter, while it perfectly acceptable for motorized vehicles to mow down cyclists with impunity.
Just curious - where is it, exactly, that it is "perfectly acceptable for motorized vehicles to mow down cyclists with impunity"?

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Old 09-12-05, 10:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by vtjim
That's what I was wondering. At any rate, it looks like he failed to stop at a stop sign, perhaps?
How else could a pedestrian have the right-of-way? Is it legal to cross the street w/o a stop sign for the cross-traffic or is that jay-walking? Or can you cross the street at any intersection, regardless if there is a stop sign to stop cross-traffic?
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Old 09-12-05, 11:01 AM   #8
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The other article doesn't much explain what happened -- and spells the cyclist's last name two different ways. I am still curious as to what actions this cyclist committed to merit manslaughter and reckless driving charges. I am assuming there was some kind of negligence involved, but there's no explanation of what it might be.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddw
The other article doesn't much explain what happened -- and spells the cyclist's last name two different ways. I am still curious as to what actions this cyclist committed to merit manslaughter and reckless driving charges. I am assuming there was some kind of negligence involved, but there's no explanation of what it might be.
It appears that he ran a stop sign. If this is true then I think he should be charged the same as if he were in a car. If we as cyclists expect the same rights as motor vehicles we should be held to the same standards.


CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A bicyclist was charged with manslaughter after he ran through a stop sign and struck and killed a 71-year-old woman, police said Monday.

Jean Calder died at Good Samaritan Hospital after she was struck Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.

Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving.

"A car and a bicycle are both vehicles and if they are operated in a way that could be criminal, then charges are filed equally in both situations," Noble said. "He was going right through a stop sign."

Lightning was being housed in Benton County jail with bail set at $57,500. He will be given a court-appointed lawyer at his arraignment in Benton County.

http://newsobserver.com/24hour/natio...11269407c.html

Here's a photo of the guy:


http://www.kgw.com/news-local/storie....4a5f2729.html
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Old 09-12-05, 12:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TMX
Just curious - where is it, exactly, that it is "perfectly acceptable for motorized vehicles to mow down cyclists with impunity"?

Thanks,
-B

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Old 09-12-05, 12:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by * jack *
what is an unmarked crosswalk?
In California there is an implicit crosswalk at every intersection, unless posted otherwise. So a pedestrian crossing at an intersection has the right of way.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:42 PM   #12
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How did the newspapers miss the headline... "Lightning strikes, kills woman!"

I am glad that they are charging this guy. It sends a message that cyclists need to obey all the laws if they want to use the roadway.
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Old 09-12-05, 01:03 PM   #13
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How else could a pedestrian have the right-of-way? Is it legal to cross the street w/o a stop sign for the cross-traffic or is that jay-walking? Or can you cross the street at any intersection, regardless if there is a stop sign to stop cross-traffic?
I don't know the law for Oregon but Mac, you are in California, and Keith99 is correct in regard to our laws. Also, it's not "jaywalking" unless there is a traffic light at either end of the block. Stop signs are insufficient, there have to be lights. It's also jaywalking if you step in front of traffic in an unsafe manner, but generally, cars and bikes are always supposed to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
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Old 09-12-05, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
In California there is an implicit crosswalk at every intersection, unless posted otherwise. So a pedestrian crossing at an intersection has the right of way.
Really? So it doesn't matter if I'm a pedestrian on a residential street or a business street, I can just walk out into the intersection and cars are supposed to stop? That doesn't make sense - that can cause a lot of accidents. Cars are driving down the road and then all of a sudden people step out into the street?? However, I have seen business intersections that had no traffic lights or stop signs, but did have the white crosswalk painted. Maybe that's what an "unmarked crosswalk" means?
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Old 09-12-05, 01:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeney
I don't know the law for Oregon but Mac, you are in California, and Keith99 is correct in regard to our laws.
Wow, you guys are right - about residential streets. I looked up the CA DMV laws regarding pedestrians and intersections. I'm still unsure about business streets (i.e. ones with traffic lights). Pedestrians can not cross at intersections w/o a Walk/Don't Walk signal, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
LAWS AND RULES OF THE ROAD

RIGHT OF WAY RULES

General Information


Right-of-way rules help people drive safely. These rules go along with courtesy and common sense. Bicyclists, moped riders, and pedestrians must follow these rules, too.

Never insist on taking the right of way. If another driver does not yield to you when he or she should, forget it. Let the other driver go first. You will help prevent accidents and make driving more pleasant.

However, if another driver expects you to take your legal turn, take it. If you don’t, you may delay traffic or cause an accident.

Pedestrians

Pedestrian safety is a serious issue. One in six traffic fatalities is a pedestrian. Drive cautiously when pedestrians are near because they may cross your path.

A pedestrian is a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates, skateboards, etc., other than a bicycle. A pedestrian can also be a person with a disability in a self-propelled wheelchair, tricycle, or quadricycle.

• Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks. Do not pass a car from behind that has stopped at a crosswalk. A pedestrian you can’t see may be crossing.

• Do not drive on a sidewalk, except to cross it at a driveway or alley. When crossing, yield to any pedestrian.

• Do not stop in a crosswalk. You will place pedestrians in danger.

• Remember—if a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian.

• Pedestrians have the right of way at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted white lines.

• Allow older pedestrians more time to cross the street. They are more likely to die as a result of a crash than younger pedestrians.

Information regarding pedestrians who are blind is on page 53.

Crosswalks

A crosswalk is that part of the pavement where the sidewalk lines would extend across the street and it is set aside for pedestrian traffic. Every intersection has a pedestrian crosswalk whether or not there are painted lines on the street. Most crosswalks are at corners but they can also be in the middle of the block. Before turning a corner, watch for people about to cross the street. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. emphasis in original document

Crosswalks are often marked with white lines. Yellow crosswalk lines may be painted at school crossings. Most often, crosswalks in residential areas are not marked.

Some crosswalks have flashing lights to warn you that pedestrians may be crossing. Look for pedestrians and be prepared to stop whether or not the lights are flashing.
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Old 09-12-05, 01:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mac
Really? So it doesn't matter if I'm a pedestrian on a residential street or a business street, I can just walk out into the intersection and cars are supposed to stop? That doesn't make sense - that can cause a lot of accidents. Cars are driving down the road and then all of a sudden people step out into the street?? However, I have seen business intersections that had no traffic lights or stop signs, but did have the white crosswalk painted. Maybe that's what an "unmarked crosswalk" means?
No, the pedestrian cannot step suddenly into traffic where an accident could occur. Essentially, the ped is still required to be relatively safe in order to maintain this right of way. So, I cannot legally step out into traffic RIGHT IN FRONT of a rich cyclist and then sue him. Establishing this in a court of law would be difficult, though.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
Wow, you guys are right - about residential streets. I looked up the CA DMV laws regarding pedestrians and intersections. I'm still unsure about business streets (i.e. ones with traffic lights). Pedestrians can not cross at intersections w/o a Walk/Don't Walk signal, right?
You guys are both correct, just in different circumstances. Yes, there's an implicit crosswalk. The grey area is when you do not have a sidewalk that ends at the intersection since the lines of the sidewalk is used to draw the imaginary crosswalk:


Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
CVC-275 -Crosswalk

275. "Crosswalk" is either:

(a) That portion of a roadway included within the prolongation or connection of the boundary lines of sidewalks at intersection where the intersecting roadways meet at approximately right angles, except the prolongation of such lines from an alley across a street.

(b) Any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, there shall not be a crosswalk where local authorities have placed signs indicating no crossing.
Also contrary to popular urban-legend and myth that "pedestrians always have right of way", they only have it in crosswalks:


Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
CVC-21954 - Pedestrians Outside Crosswalks -

21954. (a) Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.
Even in intersections, pedestrians don't automatically have all right-of-way. They can't suddenly jump out into the crosswalk and expect cars to stop:


Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
CVC - 21950 - Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
CVC-21456 - Walk, Wait, or Don't Walk

21456. Whenever a pedestrian control signal showing the words "WALK" or "WAIT" or "DON'T WALK" or other approved symbol is in place, the signal shall indicate as follows:

(a) "WALK" or approved "Walking Person" symbol. A pedestrian facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(b) Flashing or steady "DON'T WALK" or "WAIT" or approved "Upraised Hand" symbol. No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has partially completed crossing shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone or otherwise leave the roadway while the "WAIT" or "DON'T WALK" or approved "Upraised Hand" symbol is showing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA DMV
CVC-21451 - Circular Green or Green Arrow

21451. (a) A driver facing a circular green signal shall proceed straight through or turn right or left or make a U-turn unless a sign prohibits a U-turn. Any driver, including one turning, shall yield the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.

(b) A driver facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, shall enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by that green arrow or any other movement that is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. A driver facing a left green arrow may also make a U-turn unless prohibited by a sign. A driver shall yield the right-of-way to other traffic and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk.

(c) A pedestrian facing a circular green signal, unless prohibited by sign or otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in Section 21456, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown.

(d) A pedestrian facing a green arrow turn signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in Section 21456, shall not enter the roadway.
Basically crosswalks exists at intersections explicitly or implicitly. The grey area is when you do not have a sidewalk that ends at the intersection since the lines of the sidewalk is used to draw the imaginary crosswalk. Crosswalks in the middle of the street beween intersections have to be drawn explicitly. And pedestrians can only cross at crosswalks or else they're jaywalking. Pedestrians can only cross when it's safe if there's no light. If there's a light, pedestrians can only cross on a green light in their direction of travel. And if there's a walk/no-walk signal, this takes precedence over a green light. So if the light's green, but the no-walk signal is lit, then pedestrians cannot cross.

Then there's the driver's responsibility as outlined in the CVC above. But there's also criminal statutes which basically says that a driver only has to make a "reasonable" effort to avoid a pedestrian that's in violation, say... jumping out into a crosswalk when the lights' are not in their favor, or jumping out from between two parked cars and jaywalking. The "reasonable" part is up to a jury to decide, but the onus is not overly heavy on the driver. Better to hit the pedestrian in violation when have right-of-way than to make a extravagant move and swerve into oncoming traffic or onto the sidewalk. Both of which cause more severe damage, death and carnage than running over a pedestrian.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-12-05 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by toddw
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) -- A bicyclist has been charged with manslaughter after he struck and killed a pedestrian, police said.

Jean Calder, 71, died at Good Samaritan Hospital after she was struck Friday night as she crossed a street at an unmarked crosswalk, Corvallis police Capt. Ron Noble said.



Calder had the right of way when the bike rider struck her, Noble said.



Christopher A. Lightning, 51, was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving.
WTF is an "unmarked crosswalk"? If a car had hit her, it would be chalked up as an "accident" and the driver would get free grief counseling, if the driver felt any grief, which they'd probably not.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
I'm still unsure about business streets (i.e. ones with traffic lights). Pedestrians can not cross at intersections w/o a Walk/Don't Walk signal, right?
Sure they can, Mac. If there's a traffic light but no Walk/Don't Walk signal, then pedestrians cross on the green light, and vehicles turning left or right on the green are required to yield to them. The Walk signals are only used at intersections where vehicle or foot traffic is heavy enough that things would get chaotic or dangerous without the extra layer of traffic control.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
WTF is an "unmarked crosswalk"? If a car had hit her, it would be chalked up as an "accident" and the driver would get free grief counseling, if the driver felt any grief, which they'd probably not.
Check out the CVC-275 code listed above. Eve when there's no white lines on the road, there's an implied crosswalk in the intersection that connects the sidewalks on each side.
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Old 09-12-05, 02:41 PM   #21
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OK, what is an intersection and how close was she to a marked crosswalk? Don't you legally have to use a marked crosswalk if you're within a certain number of feet?
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Old 09-12-05, 02:48 PM   #22
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And pedestrians can only cross at crosswalks or else they're jaywalking.
Not exactly. See elsewhere in the Vehicle Code:

Quote:
21954. (a) Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than
within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an
intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the
roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of
a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any
pedestrian upon a roadway.

21955. Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control
signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross
the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.
In other words, you can cross the street anywhere you want -- not just at crosswalks, marked or unmarked -- as long as you yield the right-of-way to any vehicles where failing to do so would cause an immediate hazard, or unless the intersections on either side of you are equipped with traffic control devices or manned by traffic cops.

(The only reason I know this arcane bit of law is that my father is a tiny bit pedantic about the vehicle code and taught it to me long ago, and I doublechecked it one time for the lawyer for a guy who was sent away for 25-life for possession of crack cocaine, and his original arrest was for jaywalking. In the middle of an empty street with no traffic control devices on either side. No jaywalking, illegal arrest, crackhead back on the street. I love America.)
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Old 09-12-05, 03:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeney
Not exactly. See elsewhere in the Vehicle Code:



In other words, you can cross the street anywhere you want -- not just at crosswalks, marked or unmarked -- as long as you yield the right-of-way to any vehicles where failing to do so would cause an immediate hazard, or unless the intersections on either side of you are equipped with traffic control devices or manned by traffic cops.

(The only reason I know this arcane bit of law is that my father is a tiny bit pedantic about the vehicle code and taught it to me long ago, and I doublechecked it one time for the lawyer for a guy who was sent away for 25-life for possession of crack cocaine, and his original arrest was for jaywalking. In the middle of an empty street with no traffic control devices on either side. No jaywalking, illegal arrest, crackhead back on the street. I love America.)
Sorry, I guess "jaywalking" is not a proper term here since you don't ever get written up for "jaywalking". So basically the two codes you cited can be summarized as follows:

21954. A pedestrian can cross anywhere they want as long as they give right-of-way to cars on the road.

21955. If there's traffic-lights at either end of the street, of if there's police controlling traffic, pedestrians can only cross at the crosswalk.

This does bring up some grey areas, such what rules apply to streets with traffic-lights only at one intersection, but nothing at the other end?
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Old 09-12-05, 04:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
Wow, you guys are right - about residential streets. I looked up the CA DMV laws regarding pedestrians and intersections. I'm still unsure about business streets (i.e. ones with traffic lights). Pedestrians can not cross at intersections w/o a Walk/Don't Walk signal, right?
Pedestrians have the right-of-way only at intersections not controlled by signal lights; whether they are in business or residential areas is irrelevant. If it's says DON'T WALK, they don't have the right-of-way.

21461.5. It shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to fail to obey any sign or signal erected or maintained to indicate or carry out the provisions of this code or any local traffic ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to a local traffic ordinance, or to fail to obey any device erected or maintained pursuant to Section 21352.
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21461_5.htm

But if there is no traffic signal at an intersection, the pedestrian has the right-of-way. I honestly thought everyone knew that. All you have to do is put one foot on the roadway, and motorists are supposed to stop. I often have to hold up my hand to get them to stop. Now I know why...

Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-12-05 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-12-05, 04:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas
It appears that he ran a stop sign. If this is true then I think he should be charged the same as if he were in a car.
<sarcasm>
Oh, so in other words he should get off scott free.
</sarcasm>
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