Tuesday, October 25, 2011


About two weeks ago, I was nearly hit by an RTD bus on the corner of 2nd Place and Union in Lakewood, Colorado. Just to make sure that I was in the right, I asked my bus driver who had the right of way. He described several scenarios to me where a bus driver or other vehicle could drive in front of a pedestrian. He emphasized that, in any scenario, if a pedestrian crosses the median on a two-lane road, he MUST WAIT for the pedestrian to finish crossing. He also emphasized that this is the rule and LAW for any vehicle, whether it be a car, bus, truck, semi or motorcycle. Any vehicle must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Fast forward to tonight... I was crossing using a crosswalk at the corner of 9th and Auraria in LoDo right next to the Auraria Campus. I had started crossing and almost got to the median when a car making a left-hand turn had to slam on its brakes to avoid hitting me because he didn't see me in the crosswalk. I was wearing a hot pink North Face jacket and was walking in the middle of the crosswalk at a well-lit intersection.

The most important thing the bus driver from before told me is that if you hit a pedestrian with your car, you automatically are at fault with almost no excuse otherwise. There is NO EXCUSE to hit a pedestrian because the pedestrian always has the right of way.

I'm not sure how many times I need to be nearly hit by a car and yelled at as if it were my fault when I'm following the pedestrian crossing laws and the vehicles aren't following traffic laws.

The next time you're at an intersection with a crosswalk, YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS! If you don't, you may end up hitting someone or worse, killing someone. If you do, it's manslaughter. Waiting a few seconds for a pedestrian to safely cross can potentially save a life and save you from heavy fines and life in a jail cell.

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