Know the Road with the CHP: Rules for approaching a crosswalk outside an intersection

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Some crosswalks are set up outside an intersection where traffic never stops. What are the rules for drivers approaching these crossings? Do you have to stop?

"Occasionally, we'll have bicycle and pedestrian walkways that cross a roadway mid-intersection, meaning not at an intersection," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol. "These crosswalks are designated with solid white lines and they're oftentimes indicated by signage."

"These lights are yellow, and so are the signs: black and yellow. By law, flashing yellow lights and yellow signs are advisory signs. The signs are meant to merely advise the motorist of a situation in which they're approaching. They are not stop signs," he explained. "As a motorist approaches these crosswalks, they should have a heightened awareness based on the signage and the flashing lights."

"The Vehicle Code requires all pedestrians and bicyclists to yield to oncoming traffic that is close enough to constitute an immediate hazard prior to entering the roadway. The Vehicle Code also requires approaching drivers to be cognizant of the potential for pedestrians and bicyclists to be crossing the roadway," Pennings said. "Once a pedestrian or bicyclist enters the roadway in that crosswalk, the approaching motorists shall yield the right of way to them until they are safely across the road."

Some of these crosswalks have in-pavement markers that light up when a pedestrian pushes a button. In those situations, Pennings says that drivers should be aware that there's a strong possibility that someone could be entering the road.

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