Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Is it true that pedestrian have the right of way in Juneau? This is especially dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers during the winter months. Pedestrians step out in front of moving vehicles at crosswalks downtown and expect vehicles (going up hill and downhill) to make very sudden stops even though the roads are slick with black ice or snow.
Dear Juneau Resident,
Pedestrians do not have unlimited right of way. JPD has experience with vehicle versus pedestrian collisions where sometimes the vehicle driver is at fault and sometimes the pedestrian is at fault. I have tacked onto this answer a couple of CBJ's ordinances about pedestrians that cover most situations.
When officers talk to kids the emphasis is on being aware of vehicles and making sure it is safe to cross. Even if a pedestrian has the right of way and a driver should have stopped, a pedestrian is still going to have short end of the physics involved in a vehicle versus person collision. That situation should be avoided at all costs.
72.02.150 - Pedestrian subject to traffic regulations.
Pedestrians must comply with traffic control and pedestrian control signals as provided in sections 72.02.010 and 72.02.015 and are subject to the applicable restrictions in this chapter.
No pedestrian may enter or remain upon a bridge or its approach beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge-operations signal indication has been given; nor may a pedestrian pass through, around, over or under a crossing gate or barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
(CBJ Code 1970, § 72.02.150; Serial No. 71-66, § 4, 1971)
State law reference—Similar provisions, 13 AAC 02.150.
72.02.155 - Pedestrian right-of-way in safety zones.
Except as provided in 13 AAC 02.195, when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is on a sidewalk, vehicular way or area, or who is crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
No pedestrian may leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
When a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, no driver of another vehicle approaching from the rear may overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of the crosswalk.
No vehicle may be driven through or within a safety zone.
(CBJ Code 1970, § 72.02.155; Serial No. 71-66, § 4, 1971)