Reader comments on Street Smarts of pedestrian law

Dear Street Smarts, Just sending a note of thanks for your very helpful response regarding (Monday's) question on pedestrian/driver responsibilities in crossing an intersection. This could provide a learning moment for some local police. My wife was followed across Watsonville by a police cruiser about ten years ago, then stopped, verbally criticized, and threatened with a ticket because, at the Main and 5th Street intersection, she had executed a left turn as pedestrians walking away from her were stepping onto the far curb. He claimed she had to wait until they were completely out of the crosswalk and onto the sidewalk. Similarly, I was ticketed a few years ago on Main Street when I drove through a crosswalk in the far right hand lane at low speed -- traffic was stop and go during the farmers' market -- just as a pedestrian stepped off the curb into the crosswalk four lanes away to my left. The motorcycle policeman made the same allegation that I broke the law if a pedestrian has even one foot in the crosswalk. I knew the law, told him he was mistaken, but was cited anyway. So, I took the time to fight the ticket and had it thrown out. Many drivers might not know the law and would have paid the fine, and in this time of city budget woes, such incidences might become ever more common. Thanks again. Steve Bankhead, Watsonville
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