Although there are many vehicles on Portland’s roads and highways, a number of the city’s residents choose to walk to work, school and for errands. Walking is great exercise and is good for the environment, as it keeps vehicles and their emissions off of the roads. However, when people decide to leave their cars behind and to walk to their destinations, they often must encounter others who have elected to drive instead of traveling on foot.
Accidents between cars and people can be deadly. In fact, pedestrian accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Both pedestrians and drivers have responsibilities to each other to stay safe, and drivers must be cognizant of the state’s crosswalk laws so that they can prevent collisions with walkers.
Under the state’s law, crosswalks may be marked at intersections or be placed mid-road. They also exist at intersections even when they are not marked, but any mid-road crosswalk must be identified with markings. Drivers must stop and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and a pedestrian does not have to have their entire body in the road in order to be considered to be crossing the street. Any extension of them, such as a cane or wheelchair that is in the road is considered to be part of them.
Depending upon the type of road that the crosswalk covers, drivers may have to stop, yield and wait until pedestrians have cleared at least several feet of their lanes before they may continue to proceed. Drivers who ignore crosswalk laws put pedestrians at risk and expose themselves to legal liability when they collide with individuals who are legally crossing Portland roads.