In the Dec. 5 Star-Exponent, a letter was published concerning pedestrians and the movement of traffic on Main Street in Culpeper (“Main Street crosswalk pedestrians are slowing traffic”).
Unfortunately, this letter referenced a single line out of 33 contained in Section 46.2-924 of the Code of Virginia. In doing so the letter left a dangerous and incorrect impression as to the respective rights of drivers and pedestrians in crosswalk situations.
I believe that it is important for the public be made aware of the primary content of the referenced section set out in its opening lines: “The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:
“1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;
“2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;
“3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.”
Clearly, pedestrians must use common sense in crossing the street. Just as clearly, the Virginia legislature has granted pedestrians the right of way in crosswalks: “The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield.”
Failure to understand and strictly obey this clear mandate could lead to serious injury or death. The purpose of the referenced law is to promote safety, not the expedient passage of vehicular traffic.