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  1. #1
    it_msashok is offline Junior Member
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    Cvc 21950 a - veh yield to pedestrian

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    Hello Everyone,

    Today I was pulled over by a cop on motorcycle and was issued a ticket for not yielding to a pedestrian.

    Actually, this is what happened. I was in the Argonaut Way, Mowry Ave (Fremont, CA) intersection. Whenever the left arrow is on, the pedestrian walk symbol is off. I was the third car in line at that intersection. The same lane serves for cars going straight and cars turning left. Though I was the third car in line, I was the first car to turn left. When I turned left, the pedestrian was waiting to cross the intersection. As I was turning, with the green arrow on, pedestrian signal off, he had his one off forward. Then I was pulled over. Do you think I will be able to defend me against the ticket?

    Suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks.
  2. #2
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    You are required to yield to any pedestrian in a crosswalk REGARDLESS of walk signal.
  3. #3
    Sloop John D is offline Member
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    It's a little bit hard to tell exactly what happened from your description. Where was the pedestrian and where were you in relation? How many lanes were there, which lane did you turn into, and which lane was he standing in?
  4. #4
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    You are required to yield to any pedestrian in a crosswalk REGARDLESS of walk signal.
    But did the driver in fact NEED to yield? There's a difference between failing to yield and needing to yield and the law in CA is sufficiently vague in that regard to say its worth fighting as long as the pedestrian's progress wasn't impeded.
  5. #5
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    If the OP had a green ARROW and the pedestrian proceeded against the signal, then the pedestrian is the one at fault. The pedestrian is not allowed to just jump in to traffic willy-nilly.
  6. #6
    it_msashok is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the response.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1168317...08568408517938

    I have attached the scenario picture on google maps. It represents the exact situation. The green arrow shows my movement into Mowry Ave and the red circle specifies the pedestrians position. His one leg was on the crosswalk - not exactly a walking step rather he was waiting there with his one leg on the crosswalk. I was the third car in line at the intersection. The first 2 cars moved straight towards Fremont Hub in the map and I turned left.

    I am a courteous driver. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk I would have waited. But he was waiting for his light (which was dont walk at that time) and so I moved into the lane.
  7. #7
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    As I said, if you had the green arrow and the pedestrian entered the crosswalk against the red, then the pedestrian was in the wrong, not you.
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I'm pretty sure that a driver still needs to yield, but if the pedestrian was not actually crossing the street, I'm not sure why there was a ticket issued in the first place.
  9. #9
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    ecmst12, you're wrong. In fact in CA different courts have different treatments of this situation. As I said earlier, the language of the law is very vague. It only says that a driver must yield. Nothing states what constitutes yielding or when its required.
  10. #10
    Sloop John D is offline Member
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    The CA courts have said you must yield when reasonably necessary to avoid a collision with a pedestrian. Some courts have even taken it a step further and stated that you must not come so close to the pedestrian so as to cause him to fear for his safety.

    I don't believe the fact that you had a green arrow makes a difference with regard to whether or not you were required to yield, but it should make a big difference regarding whether or not your actions were reasonable. If the pedestrian has a "don't walk" sign on, then it was reasonable for you to expect that he wouldn't proceed.

    From your depiction and your description, it looks like you turned into the center lane on a three lane street as the pedestrian stepped off the curb. It seems doubtful that there was any danger of hitting him despite the fact that he was ignoring the signal. It looks like you still had an entire lane between the two of you. In fact, I want to say that even if you had hit him, it would probably be difficult for him to sue you based on the fact that he ignored the street signals. In light of this, it seems kind of absurd that you were given a ticket. It could be that the police officer was just trying to get his quota met before the end of the year.
  11. #11
    it_msashok is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all your response. I appreciate your time and knowledge.
  12. #12
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloop John D View Post
    It could be that the police officer was just trying to get his quota met before the end of the year.
    This balderdash casts every word you posted in doubt.
  13. #13
    Sloop John D is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    This balderdash casts every word you posted in doubt.
    Yes, I'm sure.
  14. #14
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that a driver still needs to yield, but if the pedestrian was not actually crossing the street, I'm not sure why there was a ticket issued in the first place.
    Agreed. And regardless of what some will claim as being the way the courts will deal with this, the officer's judgement and his version of events is not likely to face as much scrutiny as that of the defendant. Everybody should keep in mind that we are reading the defendant's version, and while I'm sure most people will be swayed by reading it, there will likely be a more convincing story which will be heard prior to the judge hearing ^^this one^^.

    The signal at this intersection presents an odd situation where it may in fact show a green signal for thru traffic from that direction of Argonaut way, it does not necessarily mean that a green signal from that direction is ALWAYS a green arrow. There are times when it may show a circular green.

    So it may have been on a green arrow, and assuming that the pedestrian had proceeded into the crosswalk, I would agree with Zigner.
    It may have been on circular green but still, if the pedestrian was in his/her position as shown in the picture -on the sidewalk- not in the crosswalk, then there should not have been a citation.
    Alternatively, if the signal was showing a circular green, and even if the pedestrian had only had one foot in the crosswalk when you entered the intersection, then not only did you impede her/his progress across the street, s/he may have jumped back onto the sidewalk to avoid you running her/him down. This is the scenario I anticipate will play out in court.

    And for those who cannot understand the definition of "yield", think of what you would normally do at an intersection with other vehicles approaching, you would SLOW DOWN and possibly STOP if need be, until you can clear the intersection and not cause any vehicle that would have otherwise had the right of way to slow down...
  15. #15
    Sloop John D is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    And regardless of what some will claim as being the way the courts will deal with this, the officer's judgement and his version of events is not likely to face as much scrutiny as that of the defendant.
    Based on the case law, it appears that it is fairly difficult to establish a violation of Ca Vehicle Code Section 21950, even if the officer wants to alter the facts. The case of People v. Hahn is particularly pertinent here. http://law.justia.com/cases/california/calapp2d/98/supp841.html

    In that case, the court states that a driver must only yield enough to provide safe passage for the pedestrian. This means yielding not only long enough to prevent a collision, but yielding long enough so that the pedestrian is not put in apprehension of a collision.

    The vehicle code itself puts additional duties of care on the pedestrian in section (b), stating that a pedestrian must still exercise due care for his or her own safety, and must not leave the curb if it would put the pedestrian so close to the vehicle as to constitute an immediate hazard.

    It seems likely that the driver was not close enough to the pedestrian to constitute a violation of the statute. Even if the driver was closer, the pedestrian walking against the signal likely ignores the duty imposed upon him by the statute. Even if we assume that the officer is going to testify that there was a green signal, but not a green arrow, the pedestrian's act of stepping off the curb as he saw a motorist approaching would still likely be an action against his duty imposed by the vehicle code.

    Unless the officer is going to make some serious alterations to the facts, including the type of signal present, the pedestrian's distance from the curb, and the pedestrian's distance from the vehicle, then it seems unlikely he can succeed. Even with these alterations, unless the officer's version of events has the pedestrian getting struck by the car or diving out of the way, it seems like it would be difficult to prove that the driver did not provide enough space to provide safe passage without securing the testimony of the pedestrian involved.

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