WHAT IS A CROSSWALK?
Crosswalks are often marked, but unmarked crosswalks also exist at all intersections unless a sign states otherwise.
- Marked Crosswalk: Any part of a roadway that is distinctly marked by signs, lines, or any other marking on the road for pedestrian crossing.
- Unmarked Crosswalk: The part of a roadway that connects two sidewalks, curbs, or edges of a road at an intersection where that roadway crosses another - think of an invisible line drawn corner to corner straight across the road.
RIGHT OF WAY
Pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk unless a peace officer or traffic control device directs otherwise. This means that even if the crosswalk is unmarked, vehicles must stop and yield to pedestrians. Make sure to watch for the elderly or people with disabilities who may take more time crossing. Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk will result in a $776 fine and 4 demerit points. But remember, as a pedestrian you're still responsible for exercising due care even though you have the right of way - make sure that all vehicles have yielded to you before entering the crosswalk.
A pedestrian crossing a roadway outside a crosswalk must yield the right of way to vehicles. And some municipalities also have 'jaywalking' bylaws - if you cross the street outside a crosswalk in these municipalities, you will receive a fine.
TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES
At intersections with traffic lights, pedestrians must follow the lights for the direction they are travelling in.
- A solid red light means pedestrians may not enter the crosswalk.
- A solid green light means pedestrians can enter the crosswalk.
- A green arrow means drivers have the right of way to turn. Pedestrians must yield the right of way.
- A yellow light is a warning that the light will be changing to red. Pedestrians must not enter the crosswalk when the light is yellow. If already in the crosswalk, they should clear it immediately.
Some intersections and crosswalks also have pedestrian signals. When the 'walk' signal is lit, pedestrians may enter the crosswalk. When the 'don't walk' signal is lit, pedestrians must not enter the crosswalk and must clear the crosswalk immediately if already in it.
Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they're available. It's also safer to cross at marked crosswalks or controlled intersections whenever possible.
Signalling your intent to cross can help drivers know that you intend to enter the crosswalk. You can use Point, Pause, Proceed as a rule of thumb:
- Hold out your arm and POINT across the street where you intend to cross.
- PAUSE and look both ways to make sure it's safe before you enter the crosswalk.
- Once safe, PROCEED to cross the crosswalk.