Know the Road with the CHP: What are the rules when a person is crossing the street?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An ABC30 viewer wanted to know: when a pedestrian is crossing through a crosswalk, do drivers have to wait until the pedestrian is out of the roadway? Or only until they are out of the way of your vehicle?

"So if a pedestrian is crossing the crosswalk, you have to be able to judge where they are, and you cannot impede their right of way," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol.

"Now, does that mean that when you come up to an intersection and you come to a stop, and a pedestrian is crossing in front of you, once they get by you and out of the way vehicle, can you go ahead and execute your turning movement or go through? As long as it's legal. Yes. Proceed with caution," he said.

"However, if you in any way shape or form have impacted that person's right of way, that is when it becomes illegal," Pennings said, adding that the law also does not allow for the pedestrian to impede your right of way.

"So if a person stops or intentionally tries to delay you, that is illegal," he said.

"I would say if the pedestrian were close to the centerline of the roadway, then you probably should wait. If in doubt, yield the right of way and allow them to proceed in front of your vehicle," Pennings said.

For other answers from the CHP, go to

If you have a question about the rules of the road, fill out the form below for a chance to be featured on Know the Road with the CHP.

(mobile users tap here for form)
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.