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Proposal: Stopped Vehicle Law

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Proposal: Stopped Vehicle Law

Old 07-01-18, 07:35 AM
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Proposal: Stopped Vehicle Law

Many states have laws on the books that try to protect pedestrians and bicyclists from motor vehicle traffic. There are many different types of safety infrastructure components such as crosswalks, marked bike lanes, signage with pictures of pedestrians or bicyclists, flashing warning lights and numerous other safety elements. Unfortunately, none of them addresses the all-too-common tragedy described in the excerpt below. We can do better.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/1185547/a...buquerque.html

Excerpt:
The tragedy comes almost four months after 12-year-old Eliza Almuina was killed when she was struck, and killed, by an SUV as she crossed Louisiana NE with a friend to get back to Cleveland Middle School.Police called the March 22 crash a “tragic accident” in which one vehicle stopped to let the girls pass, obstructing the view from the SUV that struck Almuina.

In Massachusetts, we have a law that requires vehicles to stop when pedestrians enter a crosswalk.There’s a bill that seems to be successfully making its way through the state legislature called “An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities” that, among many other sections, includes the following:No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a bicycle crossing to permit a bicyclist to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked bicycle crossing while a bicyclist is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the bicycle crossing to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.”

The first question then becomes, what, exactly, is a “bicycle crossing”?

The bill does not provide a specific definition but does include the following language:“When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a bicyclist crossing a roadway or intersection at a bicycle crossing marked, signed, or otherwise designated in accordance with standards established by the department, including but not limited to road crossings of bicycle or shared-use paths and intersection crossings of bicycle lanes, if the bicyclist is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the bicyclist approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling.”

It’s hard to believe that whole thing was just one sentence. It sounds like the requirement that must be met to qualify as a “bicycle crossing” is that the intersection must be “marked, signed or otherwise designated”. So, for example, if a designated bike lane crosses another road, it would qualify as a “bicycle crossing”.

If a side street with no bike lane crosses another road, it would not qualify as a “bicycle crossing”.

Neither the existing law for pedestrians in crosswalks nor the proposed law for bicycle crossings seems to address the type of situation that arose in the excerpt linked at the top of this article. They address situations when a car “must” yield but they do not address the situation when a car “voluntarily” yields. Furthermore, even in “must yield” situations, they fail to address the reality that a stopped car can obstruct the view of another passing vehicle as happened in the excerpted article.

What if there is not a marked pedestrian crosswalk or a marked “bicycle crossing” and one car stops to allow a pedestrian or a bicyclist to cross an intersection?

In Ashland, Massachusetts, where I live, we had a similar type of accident three years ago during a charity bike ride. A car had stopped to allow an oncoming driver make a left turn in front of him. A cyclist on the charity ride, which was billed as a race, tried to pass the stopped car on the right. The stopped car obstructed his view of the oncoming car turning across his path. The oncoming car making the left turn was not able to see the oncoming cyclist because his view was obstructed by the stopped car. The cyclist was struck and was very seriously injured.

On club rides, we frequently come to an unmarked intersection where a vehicle will stop to let our riders cross only to have a vehicle from the opposite direction fail to stop. As experienced club riders, we are aware of this danger. Such is not always the case with children or other less experienced riders crossing these intersections. Imagine a situation where a kindly driver stops and waves to children that it’s okay to cross. Then, another car traveling the same direction in the left lane goes speeding by the stopped car or a car approaching from the right fails to stop as children on bicycles make their way across the road.What law should address this situation?

Do we need a law that requires all drivers to come to a full stop when a vehicle is stopped in an adjacent or oncoming travel lane?

I think we do. To be sure, this isn’t a perfect solution. Cars stopping unexpectedly in a travel lane could cause more rear-end collisions. Nevertheless, recognizing the vulnerability of both pedestrians and bicyclists seems to warrant such a law.

Again, we need a law that requires all drivers to come to a full stop when another vehicle is stopped in an adjacent or oncoming travel lane. After doing so, that vehicle is free to proceed after ensuring there is no pedestrian or bicyclist cross-traffic. The law would not apply to vehicles stopped by traffic lights or stop signs.

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Old 07-01-18, 10:31 AM
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So, anytime a car breaks down, you want all traffic in both directions to stop? And at a 4 way stop, no one can go until the distracted driver who isn't going wakes up?
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Old 07-01-18, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
So, anytime a car breaks down, you want all traffic in both directions to stop? And at a 4 way stop, no one can go until the distracted driver who isn't going wakes up?
I was hoping for some useful discussion on a proposal designed to save lives.

Most cars that break down are able to pull off to the side of the road and not remain in a travel lane. Yes, for the rare car that breaks down in a travel lane at an uncontrolled intersection, I would want other drivers to stop because the stopped driver might be allowing "vulnerable road users" to cross in front of them.

Your comment indicates you either didn't read or understand the last two lines of the proposal.
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Old 07-01-18, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post
I was hoping for some useful discussion on a proposal designed to save lives.

Most cars that break down are able to pull off to the side of the road and not remain in a travel lane. Yes, for the rare car that breaks down in a travel lane at an uncontrolled intersection, I would want other drivers to stop because the stopped driver might be allowing "vulnerable road users" to cross in front of them.

Your comment indicates you either didn't read or understand the last two lines of the proposal.
"Useful discussion" is not just any discussion that agrees with you. I can read just fine, thanks, so implying that I can't is probably not the best way of getting more people interested in discussing your idea.

The primary problem is that cars in cities stop constantly. They stop to park, drop people off, run deliveries, because there's a pothole, etc. You are proposing that cross traffic stops for every one of those situations, and in heavy traffic that is going to make everything far more congested. And whether you realize it or not, congestion also tends to lead to more accidents both for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Are you willing to make everything more unsafe and generally worse to fix a problem caused by pedestrians walking into traffic?


Pedestrians have the right of way, but that doesn't mean they can leap into traffic without looking in the assumption that they have some sort of forcefield on them because a stopped driver waived them across the road. Personally, I have been in this situation many times where a driver stops where he has no obligation to and waives me into the street even though the traffic in the other lane doesn't know why he's stopped. That driver doing that is what creates the hazard, and feeling that you ought to cross despite the lack of complete stopped traffic is when things get dangerous. It is much safer to wait for a normal gap in traffic than to stand in the middle of the road and hope that the rest of the cars will decide to stop at a non-intersection for no real reason.

Our road system works because the rules of the road make for a certain predictability. On a section of road with no crosswalk, pedestrians should assume that drivers are not going to stop, and drivers should assume that pedestrians will wait until traffic has cleared. Not because it is nice, but because it is predictable.


So what I see in your proposal is a disastrous decrease in safety and a bill that won't pass because people will quickly realize the same points I've laid out. It isn't that cars have more rights, it is that cars are dangerous and we should avoid creating more situations that involve doing unpredictable things on the road.
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Old 07-01-18, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post
Again, we need a law that requires all drivers to come to a full stop when another vehicle is stopped in an adjacent or oncoming travel lane. After doing so, that vehicle is free to proceed after ensuring there is no pedestrian or bicyclist cross-traffic. The law would not apply to vehicles stopped by traffic lights or stop signs.
Your proposal would actually create more problems than it solves. By the wording of your proposal, a stopped vehicle would suddenly become a stop sign situation.

There are city roads I ride which are two lanes in both directions separated by a double yellow line. Along these roads there are breaks in the center line to allow drivers to make left turns onto cross streets into neighborhoods. Often these vehicles must stop until opposing traffic clears.

For vehicles traveling in the same direction, they would have to stop next to the one waiting to make a left. Since every vehicle must do this, this would unnecessarily hold up traffic coming up from behind.

For vehicles traveling in the opposite direction, they would have to stop when they see someone on the other side of the road waiting to make an opposing left turn across their path. This effectively changes the right-of-way pattern from one where crossing traffic must yield to through traffic to one where through traffic must yield to crossing traffic. Every time you are driving and see a vehicle waiting to cross your path for an opposing left turn, you would be required to stop. You doing so will imply to the opposing left turn that you are yielding to them, thus creating exactly the situation you are trying to prevent - a stopped vehicle blocking the view of other drivers.

"Accidents don't happen. They are caused." - my father when teaching me to drive.

In the cases cited, the incident could have been greatly reduced in severity or eliminated altogether. Does not (un)common sense dictate that maybe there is a reason the vehicles were stopped? It's possible they stopped for something other than to wait to make a turn. And since you can't see around them to know why, shouldn't you slow down enough so that if you need to stop you can do so within the distance you can see? Isn't this the same idea as driving in fog? Don't go faster than you can see to stop?

"Expect the unexpected." - my father, again.

Both the drivers and adult cyclists had opportunities to slow down and make sure they aren't going faster than it is safe to do so due to the stopped vehicles obstructing their view.

In the case of the boy killed, the article indicates it was at an intersection. Even if there is no marked crosswalk, is it not obvious to expect people to possibly be crossing at intersections? If you see a vehicle stopped at an intersection and do not see a reason for them to have done so (such as a signal, stop sign, pedestrian, bicycle, or another vehicle) does that not imply caution because maybe the reason for them having stopped is being obstructed from your view by that very vehicle?

In the case of the girl killed that is also mentioned, the article indicates the SUV was approaching a stopped vehicle AT A MARKED SCHOOL CROSSWALK. That is a red flag right there to stop, especially if you don't see anything in the crosswalk because you should assume your view may be blocked by the stopped vehicle.

Caveat, news articles often lack important details, so my armchair quarterbacking shouldn't be implied to mean I know who is at fault. Just using the information provided as examples to show how accidents are caused and don't "just happen".

Brian
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Old 07-01-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Pedestrians have the right of way, but that doesn't mean they can leap into traffic....
I cut off your quote to make a more generalized statement. Pedestrians only have the right of way when they are already safely in the path.

I have personal experience with this as a driver. I was once ticketed for failure to yield at an intersection with a crosswalk. But I won. Why? I was making a left turn and the light changed while I was still in the intersection. A pedestrian started into the crosswalk before I cleared the intersection. After researching the vehicle code I found it deals with this situation very specifically stating that even when a pedestrian has a cross signal they cannot cross until all traffic has cleared the intersection. I, by law, had the right of way.

From my experience I discovered that the common understanding that "pedestrians always have the right of way" is very wrong. Most of the time, they do not. They must yield to existing traffic just like vehicles.

Brian

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Old 07-01-18, 12:25 PM
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You raise numerous good points here.

First, let's address the left-turning car yielding to oncoming traffic. I'll couple that with a driver who is still in the travel lane waiting for a parking spot on the right side of the road. If the language were changed to allow the passing of a stopped vehicle is they were signaling either left or right, would that satisfy the concern you raised? If not, what modification would you propose to permit other traffic to pass a stopped car waiting to make a turn?

Does not (un)common sense dictate that maybe there is a reason the vehicles were stopped?
I think that is or at least should be very true. Should we rely on "common sense" or should we make that part of our traffic code?

In the case of the girl killed that is also mentioned, the article indicates the SUV was approaching a stopped vehicle AT A MARKED SCHOOL CROSSWALK. That is a red flag right there to stop, especially if you don't see anything in the crosswalk because you should assume your view may be blocked by the stopped vehicle.
It certainly should be a red flag but, again, the law in this area does not seem adequate. Massachusetts law requires vehicles to stop when there are pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. But SUV's, busses, and trucks could easily obstruct the view of these pedestrians by drivers in an adjacent lane. Common sense "should" cause that driver to stop next to or behind the stopped vehicle. Shouldn't that be required?

The goal of what is being proposed is somewhat similar to the laws requiring drivers to stop when a school bus is stopped with its flashers going. There's a reason for that law. No, the proposal is not the same but its intent is to protect vulnerable road users who may run out from behind a stopped car or bicycle across an intersection when other cars are passing a stopped car.

Again, how would you modify the proposal to make it better?
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Old 07-01-18, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by HazardBiker View Post
I cut off your quote to make a more generalized statement. Pedestrians only have the right of way when they are already safely in the path.

I have personal experience with this as a driver. I was once ticketed for failure to yield at an intersection with a crosswalk. But I won. Why? I was making a left turn and the light changed while I was still in the intersection. A pedestrian started into the crosswalk before I cleared the intersection. After researching the vehicle code I found it deals with this situation very specifically stating that even when a pedestrian has a cross signal they cannot cross until all traffic has cleared the intersection. I, by law, had the right of way.

From my experience I discovered that the common understanding that "pedestrians always have the right of way" is very wrong. Most of the time, they do not. They must yield to existing traffic just like vehicles.

Brian

Brian
And what I was getting at is that being in the lane already doesn't make their crossing automatically safe. 4 lane roads with 3 lanes stopped doesn't make that 4th lane a sure thing. The pedestrians need to continue to check whether each new lane is clear. At a marked crosswalk there should be an expectation that the 4th lane will stop because they see stopped traffic at the marked crossing, but you still need to look. At an unmarked crossing the pedestrian should assume cars are not going to stop and double check accordingly. Or better yet, the cars shouldn't stop on 4 lane roads for pedestrians if there isn't a crosswalk to avoid the issue.
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Old 07-01-18, 01:29 PM
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Every operator of a motor vehicle has a responsibility to avoid hitting anyone else, no matter where that person is, what they are, or are not driving, or what they are doing. Even if a guy is wandering around aimlessly in the middle of the freeway, you slow down or stop.

The OP about one vehicle stopping at crosswalks (or bike crossings) and another vehicle taking them out is really important.

When someone in the near lane stops for me to be polite, I have decided NOT to cross. I was nearly killed. Someone stopped to let me walk cross the street, and even though I didn’t like the situation I crossed anyhow to be polite. 15 mph zone near businesses. I was watching carefully, but someone moving at high speed missed me by about a foot. - It almost happened again. There is a mixed use bike path that crosses a four lane road here. I was waiting to finish crossing on a large island in the middle of the road. There are signs and warning lights and everything. Someone in the near lane stopped, but I didn’t move. A few seconds later someone flew past in the far lane. I would have been killed.

I do not think a law requiring the second vehicle to stop would be observed or prosecuted (unless someone is killed). People are supposed to slow down if someone is stopped on the road, and they should be subject to harsh penalties for reckless driving or manslaughter if they hit a pedestrian. They know the first car was stopped, and that there is a crosswalk. They already know pedestrians are present, even if they don’t see them. A new law might help prosecution, but it might not. The problem is that drivers know they could kill someone, but don’t care. If they aren’t afraid of killing someone, they aren’t afraid of getting a ticket.

I would oppose the law, because responsible driving already requires slowing or stopping. As I see it, the law suggests this is not the case. I wouldn’t mind else supporting the law, however, because I can see that perspective.


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Old 07-02-18, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post

Originally Posted by HazardBiker View Post
Does not (un)common sense dictate that maybe there is a reason the vehicles were stopped?
I think that is or at least should be very true. Should we rely on "common sense" or should we make that part of our traffic code?

You cannot legislate common sense. You'd have to make laws for every situation dictating what a person should or should not do, which I think you realize would be impossible. People disregard laws and common sense as it is. No, you can't create a police state in the name of safety. Slippery slope stuff. Here be dragons.

Brian
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Old 07-02-18, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post
....

In Massachusetts, we have a law that requires vehicles to stop when pedestrians enter a crosswalk.There’s a bill that seems to be successfully making its way through the state legislature called “An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities” that, among many other sections, includes the following:No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a bicycle crossing to permit a bicyclist to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked bicycle crossing while a bicyclist is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the bicycle crossing to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.”

....
On June 21st, the bikes may use crossing section of S.1905 was deleted. The most recent bill which passed the Senate is S.2584. Unfortunately, the law in Massachusetts continues to be silent on bicycles crossing at a crosswalk or at a bike path crossing. We are neither protected in any way, nor are we required to dismount and walk. It's just - crickets.

But let's discuss pedestrians and crosswalks. In Massachusetts:

Originally Posted by M.G.L Chapter 89 Section 11
Section 11. When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be so to yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk marked in accordance with standards established by the department of highways if the pedestrian is on that half of the traveled part of the way on which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian approaches from the opposite half of the traveled part of the way to within 10 feet of that half of the traveled part of the way on which said vehicle is traveling.

No driver of a vehicle shall pass any other vehicle which has stopped at a marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross, nor shall any such operator enter a marked crosswalk while a pedestrian is crossing or until there is a sufficient space beyond the crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle he is operating, notwithstanding that a traffic control signal may indicate that vehicles may proceed.
The practical effect of the "to permit a pedestrian to cross" clause is that it is VERY difficult to prosecute anyone in Massachusetts who kills a pedestrian when they pass another car stopped at a crosswalk.
1) SMIDSY because the car blocked my vision.
2) I didn't think the driver stopped at the crosswalk for a pedestrian to cross.

Therefore, tragic "accident."

Compare and contrast with the UK:

Prohibition against vehicles overtaking at crossings

24.—(1) Whilst any motor vehicle (in this regulation called “the approaching vehicle”) or any part of it is within the limits of a controlled area and is proceeding towards the crossing, the driver of the vehicle shall not cause it or any part of it—

(a)to pass ahead of the foremost part of any other motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction; or

(b)to pass ahead of the foremost part of a vehicle which is stationary for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26.

(2) In paragraph (1)—

(a)the reference to a motor vehicle in sub-paragraph (a) is, in a case where more than one motor vehicle is proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle in a controlled area, a reference to the motor vehicle nearest to the crossing; and

(b)the reference to a stationary vehicle is, in a case where more than one vehicle is stationary in a controlled area for the purpose of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26, a reference to the stationary vehicle nearest the crossing.
When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drivers in the UK can not even PASS the car closest to the crosswalk. Further, "for the purposes of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26" is interpreted as you must STOP first, and if they are not stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, you may then proceed with caution.


So, I would suggest that BEFORE you attempt to broaden a broken law to apply to ANYWHERE on the road, not just at marked crosswalks, that YOU FIRST FIX THE EXISTING BROKEN CROSSWALK LAW. (And while you are at it, people on bicycles too.)

-mr. bill

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Old 07-02-18, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
On June 21st, the bikes may use crossing section of S.1905 was deleted. The most recent bill which passed the Senate is S.2584. Unfortunately, the law in Massachusetts continues to be silent on bicycles crossing at a crosswalk or at a bike path crossing. We are neither protected in any way, nor are we required to dismount and walk. It's just - crickets.

But let's discuss pedestrians and crosswalks. In Massachusetts:



The practical effect of the "to permit a pedestrian to cross" clause is that it is VERY difficult to prosecute anyone in Massachusetts who kills a pedestrian when they pass another car stopped at a crosswalk.
1) SMIDSY because the car blocked my vision.
2) I didn't think the driver stopped at the crosswalk for a pedestrian to cross.

Therefore, tragic "accident."

Compare and contrast with the UK:



When approaching a pedestrian crossing, drivers in the UK can not even PASS the car closest to the crosswalk. Further, "for the purposes of complying with regulation 23, 25 or 26" is interpreted as you must STOP first, and if they are not stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, you may then proceed with caution.


So, I would suggest that BEFORE you attempt to broaden a broken law to apply to ANYWHERE on the road, not just at marked crosswalks, that YOU FIRST FIX THE EXISTING BROKEN CROSSWALK LAW. (And while you are at it, people on bicycles too.)

-mr. bill
Is this inability to prosecute a real thing, or are you just spitballing?

People on A&S love to talk about the criminal penalties of this and that, but drivers largely follow the rules of the road because it is what they were taught, not because they are doing some calculus about the potential penalty. Virtually no one could say what the criminal penalty is for having an accident after running a red light - they just know you aren't supposed to run red lights.

If the rules say you aren't supposed to pass a car stopped at a crosswalk, then that's what the majority of drivers are going to do. The ones who don't usually are the ones who are oblivious to the fact that they are in a crosswalk at all.


It would be nice if we could drop the pretense that all driver behavior is derived from fear of prosecution, because it really isn't.
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Old 07-02-18, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Is this inability to prosecute a real thing, or are you just spitballing?
It's a very real thing.

A driver with an expired license killed a woman in a crosswalk.

Two drivers stopped for the woman in the crosswalk. One driver did not. Found not guilty. The defense argued that they didn't see the woman because the stopped cars blocked their view, and didn't realized the other people stopped at the WELL MARKED crosswalk were stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.

This isn't hypothetical.

-mr. bill
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Old 07-02-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
It's a very real thing.

A driver with an expired license killed a woman in a crosswalk.

Two drivers stopped for the woman in the crosswalk. One driver did not. Found not guilty. The defense argued that they didn't see the woman because the stopped cars blocked their view, and didn't realized the other people stopped at the WELL MARKED crosswalk were stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross.

This isn't hypothetical.

-mr. bill
You just told me that she was prosecuted.

Being found not guilty after a trial is not remotely the same as not being prosecuted. People are found not guilty of murder all the time, too. Do you think murder isn't prosecuted, too?
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Old 07-02-18, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
If the rules say you aren't supposed to pass a car stopped at a crosswalk, then that's what the majority of drivers are going to do. The ones who don't usually are the ones who are oblivious to the fact that they are in a crosswalk at all.
Are you spitballing? Do you ever USE uncontrolled crosswalks?

Do you know there are actual studies of driver yielding behavior at crosswalks?

Would it surprise you that FEW drivers yield - less than 1 in 5 in a Wisconsin study?

-mr. bill
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Old 07-02-18, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Are you spitballing? Do you ever USE uncontrolled crosswalks?

Do you know there are actual studies of driver yielding behavior at crosswalks?

Would it surprise you that FEW drivers yield - less than 1 in 5 in a Wisconsin study?

-mr. bill
What does that have to do with the supposed inability to prosecute?

I use controlled sidewalks. Some drivers stop, some don't. But we aren't talking about that, we're talking about the specific case of two traffic lanes going in one direction and the second car failing to stop next to the first car at a marked crosswalk. Do you have stats on that?
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Old 07-02-18, 11:39 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
But we aren't talking about that, we're talking about the specific case of two traffic lanes going in one direction and the second car failing to stop next to the first car at a marked crosswalk. Do you have stats on that?
Yes. We're done.

-mr. bill
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Old 07-02-18, 11:55 AM
  #18  
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I have had several instances when I've been on-street riding. Hit a stop sign on a moderately busy cross road (often without a stop).

One of the cross traffic vehicles stops. But the lane in the opposite direction doesn't stop.

I feel bad for the vehicle that stopped, but I can't move onto the street until all lanes are either clear or stopped (basic safety for me).

A law forcing vehicles to use common sense would be useful. Look when they see a stopped vehicle, and also stop. Perhaps more complex with cars going opposite directions, but not impossible. Very important for cars going in the same direction.

I think the law should be written for "Vulnerable Road Users" (bicycles, pedestrians, horses, etc).

But, similar issues also apply to vehicles pulling out of driveways. Especially when a stoplight stops traffic, and some drivers give people space to get out, when the next row of cars fills up the space.
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Old 07-02-18, 12:03 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Yes. We're done.

-mr. bill
If this is the study you're talking about, there doesn't seem to be anything in it about drivers stopping when they see other cars stopped at crosswalks.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/sa...wipedstudy.pdf
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Old 07-02-18, 01:40 PM
  #20  
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My regular MUP crosses five lane roads in a few places, most with a pedestrian island.

My biggest issue is the people who stop when they should keep moving, whether I am in the island or by the edge. Two lanes of contiguous traffic, because a nearby light just went green, and someone three quarters of the way back will see me and come to a stop. Inevitably, this leads to the people in the other lane slamming on their brakes when they see pedestrians/cyclists waiting to go, and yelling some choice words at us, thinking we walked out into traffic. Or worse, the other lane keeps going, I sit there, and the person who stopped is being honked at making their upcoming actions incredibly unpredictable when they get flustered.

I don't need special accommodations to cross a road. I need everyone to adhere to the same rules consistently, and actually practice proper ROW without trying to be the nice guy.

And no, I don't go until both lanes are stopped (or are at least seeing me and in the process of stopping)
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Old 07-02-18, 02:03 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
My regular MUP crosses five lane roads in a few places, most with a pedestrian island.

My biggest issue is the people who stop when they should keep moving, whether I am in the island or by the edge. Two lanes of contiguous traffic, because a nearby light just went green, and someone three quarters of the way back will see me and come to a stop. Inevitably, this leads to the people in the other lane slamming on their brakes when they see pedestrians/cyclists waiting to go, and yelling some choice words at us, thinking we walked out into traffic. Or worse, the other lane keeps going, I sit there, and the person who stopped is being honked at making their upcoming actions incredibly unpredictable when they get flustered.

I don't need special accommodations to cross a road. I need everyone to adhere to the same rules consistently, and actually practice proper ROW without trying to be the nice guy.

And no, I don't go until both lanes are stopped (or are at least seeing me and in the process of stopping)
Exactly. If everyone behaves the way the intersection is designed to work, the chances of an accident are lower. It isn't really being kind when the stopped driver makes things chaotic. I try to waive such people on or look well away so they understand I'm not ready to cross.
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Old 07-02-18, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Exactly. If everyone behaves the way the intersection is designed to work, the chances of an accident are lower. It isn't really being kind when the stopped driver makes things chaotic. I try to waive such people on or look well away so they understand I'm not ready to cross.
Yeah, in my case they always tend to stop right when my foot has hit the ground ten feet from the crossing and the water bottle is three quarters of the way to my mouth, i.e., right when I am in no position to go for any amount of time.

Its hard to hate on someone trying to be kind, but it just messes up traffic flow so much. Just learn the right of way, everyone, and adhere to it!
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Old 07-02-18, 04:19 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
On June 21st, the bikes may use crossing section of S.1905 was deleted. The most recent bill which passed the Senate is S.2584. Unfortunately, the law in Massachusetts continues to be silent on bicycles crossing at a crosswalk or at a bike path crossing. We are neither protected in any way, nor are we required to dismount and walk. It's just - crickets.
Just got an email about this today from Mass Bike. Those in Massachusetts who want to help lobby for the bill can visit: Advocacy - Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition

But let's discuss pedestrians and crosswalks. In Massachusetts:

The practical effect of the "to permit a pedestrian to cross" clause is that it is VERY difficult to prosecute anyone in Massachusetts who kills a pedestrian when they pass another car stopped at a crosswalk.

1) SMIDSY because the car blocked my vision.
2) I didn't think the driver stopped at the crosswalk for a pedestrian to cross.

Therefore, tragic "accident."
This is exactly what my proposal is seeking to remedy. The bottom line is that no driver can know the intent of why another driver has stopped. Is he picking up a passenger? Stopping for someone in a marked crosswalk? Waiting for a parking spot? Out of gas? We're not mind readers.

So, it seems like we have two choices. We can either let the carnage continue or we can demand a "stop and look" when another vehicle is stopped in a travel lane. I prefer the latter.

I would also ask why these restrictions should be limited to marked pedestrian crosswalks or should they be imposed for any stopped vehicle. If a car has stopped in a travel lane and is allowing some kids to run across the road in front of them, should we just wish them good luck and see whether they survive?

We need to stop killing pedestrians and cyclists with our cars. No one likes to be inconvenienced when they are driving but what's the big deal to stop and look when another car is stopped in a travel lane? How long would that actually delay you? You pull up next to the stopped car, you look for pedestrians or bicycles crossing the road, whether there are road markings or not, and you go on your way. Total time? I don't know ... maybe 10 seconds. I drove for about an hour today on both quiet country and suburban roads and on somewhat more urban roads. Number of cars stopped in the travel lane = 0. Total time spent = 0.

The SMIDSY you referenced is exactly what happens. Even if a stopped car didn't block another driver's view, they still claim they didn't see anyone in the crosswalk. At least with my proposal, if someone has stopped, you have to stop. It doesn't matter whether you do or do not see someone crossing and it doesn't matter whether you know why the driver stopped.



So, I would suggest that BEFORE you attempt to broaden a broken law to apply to ANYWHERE on the road, not just at marked crosswalks, that YOU FIRST FIX THE EXISTING BROKEN CROSSWALK LAW. (And while you are at it, people on bicycles too.)


-mr. bill

I think we need to do both simultaneously. The current law for pedestrians is painfully inadequate. If we broadened it, even just for pedestrians, we should expand it to "must stop and look" for any car stopped in a travel lane and we should broaden it to go beyond merely "marked crosswalks". With the new bill's definition of "vulnerable road users", there's no reason not to include cyclists as well.


People are dying out there and some form of "stopped vehicle law" is needed. It's time to put an end to the "I didn't see him" defense.

Last edited by welshTerrier2; 07-02-18 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-02-18, 05:26 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post
Just got an email about this today from Mass Bike. Those in Massachusetts who want to help lobby for the bill can visit: Advocacy - Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition



This is exactly what my proposal is seeking to remedy. The bottom line is that no driver can know the intent of why another driver has stopped. Is he picking up a passenger? Stopping for someone in a marked crosswalk? Waiting for a parking spot? Out of gas? We're not mind readers.

So, it seems like we have two choices. We can either let the carnage continue or we can demand a "stop and look" when another vehicle is stopped in a travel lane. I prefer the latter.

I would also ask why these restrictions should be limited to marked pedestrian crosswalks or should they be imposed for any stopped vehicle. If a car has stopped in a travel lane and is allowing some kids to run across the road in front of them, should we just wish them good luck and see whether they survive?

We need to stop killing pedestrians and cyclists with our cars. No one likes to be inconvenienced when they are driving but what's the big deal to stop and look when another car is stopped in a travel lane? How long would that actually delay you? You pull up next to the stopped car, you look for pedestrians or bicycles crossing the road, whether there are road markings or not, and you go on your way. Total time? I don't know ... maybe 10 seconds. I drove for about an hour today on both quiet country and suburban roads and on somewhat more urban roads. Number of cars stopped in the travel lane = 0. Total time spent = 0.

The SMIDSY you referenced is exactly what happens. Even if a stopped car didn't block another driver's view, they still claim they didn't see anyone in the crosswalk. At least with my proposal, if someone has stopped, you have to stop. It doesn't matter whether you do or do not see someone crossing and it doesn't matter whether you know why the driver stopped.





I think we need to do both simultaneously. The current law for pedestrians is painfully inadequate. If we broadened it, even just for pedestrians, we should expand it to "must stop and look" for any car stopped in a travel lane and we should broaden it to go beyond merely "marked crosswalks". With the new bill's definition of "vulnerable road users", there's no reason not to include cyclists as well.


People are dying out there and some form of "stopped vehicle law" is needed. It's time to put an end to the "I didn't see him" defense.
The "big deal" is that during rush hour rush hour cars on main roads are constantly stopping to turn left and parallel park, which is part of the reason the road has 4 lanes. But you want to make the road like it is 2 lanes, where every briefly stopped car has to create a backup that extends back 20 or more cars.

And you want to do that so a driver that is ignoring the rules of the road can just randomly stop traffic to "allow some kids to cross" when that isn't the way the road system is designed to work. Especially during heavy traffic times.


You are also ignoring the fact that the more stop and go traffic you have, the more accidents occur. Are you pro "carnage"?


Most of what you wrote makes it sound like you have no experience driving in cities. Cars already need to stop at marked crosswalks when in use, and other cars stopped at the crosswalk is already understood to mean the crosswalk is in use.
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Old 07-02-18, 05:31 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2 View Post
So, it seems like we have two choices. We can either let the carnage continue or we can demand a "stop and look" when another vehicle is stopped in a travel lane.
[SKIP]

We need to stop killing pedestrians and cyclists with our cars.
We have a third choice, get some perspective and not propose laws based on exaggerated drama/hyperbole about "carnage" and "killing"; unlikely to be seriously considered by anybody but anti-motorist zealots.
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