Though Alberta has yet to adopt them, there is a new form of crosswalk that is taking off in various cities. Edmonton has recently installed quite a few crossovers throughout the city. Here are a few locations we know of.
- St. Georges Avenue
- The intersection of Bay St. & Spring
- Queen Street East & Churchill
- Wellington Street West at Beverly
These pedestrian crossovers are supposed to make it possible for pedestrians to cross the road more safely. They note that by law drivers and cyclists must stop and yield to pedestrians at these crossovers. Pedestrians who indicate they wish to cross must be allowed to do so while the vehicle or cyclist comes to a complete stop. They may only start again after the pedestrian or cyclist has reached the other side.
These crossings are clearly marked by signs or flashing lights. Drivers must stop at any pedestrian crossing, look for pedestrians, and wait for them to cross if they see any. It essentially functions as a stop sign that gives pedestrians the automatic right-of-way.
What are the responsibilities of drivers at a pedestrian crossover?
Drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the signage, stop, and yield. They must come to a complete stop and drive only when all pedestrians have crossed. They must also avoid passing any other vehicle within 30 meters before a pedestrian crossover.
Failing to yield to pedestrians at crossovers can result in a $365 fine and four demerit points on the driver’s license. The same will be true of cyclists. Cyclists may use the crosswalk like pedestrians, but they must dismount and walk their bikes across if they’re going to do that. Whether they will be treated as a driver or a pedestrian depends entirely on whether they were mounted or dismounted at the time.
What are the responsibilities of pedestrians at pedestrian crossovers?
First and foremost, to use them! If a crossover exists then using them is the safe, legal way to cross the street.
Pedestrians who leave the curb or a place of safety to walk, run, or otherwise move into the traveled portion of the road in a way that makes it impractical for a driver to stop could receive a $50 fine.
What’s the difference between a crosswalk and a pedestrian crossover?
One difference is the signage. Pedestrian crossovers place signage beside the road, and sometimes above the road, with clear, explicit instructions to stop for pedestrians. This is in sharp contrast to a crosswalk that merely uses paint across the road that drivers might not notice.
While crosswalks sometimes have “walk” and “don’t walk” signals, these alert pedestrians and not drivers. Crossovers that are equipped with signals alert drivers instead, by placing flashing lights above the road to alert them that a pedestrian is waiting to cross. This is far more effective at getting drivers to bring their car to a complete stop and for communicating intentions. This also means that pedestrians are far more visible at night.
The crossover also gives drivers clear directions on where they are supposed to stop for pedestrians, which does not exist at standard crosswalks.
In other ways, they function exactly the same way. For example, here in Alberta, the law may already be interpreted to indicate that you should not drive while a pedestrian is crossing the road, though some do interpret the law to indicate they can continue as long as the pedestrian is out of their way. Still, it’s usually good practice to wait until a pedestrian has gotten from Curb A to Curb B regardless of whether you are approaching a crosswalk or crossover.
Do pedestrian crossings actually reduce accidents?
When the signals, signage, laws, and enforcement all tell drivers exactly when and where to stop for pedestrians, one study indicated that accidents can be reduced by as much as 90%.
They certainly do require drivers to give pedestrians a lot more space, which seems like it could lead to improvements.
In addition, it means that pedestrians who are injured by drivers at pedestrian crossovers might be able to push for punitive damages, a type of personal injury compensation that is very difficult to get. This is because judges are often reluctant to award it without a clear-cut case of wrongdoing. But failing to yield at a pedestrian crossover could easily provide the right justifications.
Finally, crossovers could impact personal injury cases by clarifying who is at fault for accidents. In spite of the fact that nearly 70% of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers, many parties are quick to blame pedestrians for their own injuries, or even their own deaths. As more crossovers appear fault could become less congested, which is great news for those who choose to live car-free, or who choose to walk to some of their destinations.
Need help with your pedestrian accident case?
Whether your pedestrian accident takes place in a crossover, marked crosswalk, or unmarked crosswalk, we take it seriously.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver you’ve got no time to lose. Rest assured the at-fault driver’s insurance company will do everything in its power to paint the accident as your fault. If they can make it all about your actions, they end up paying less…or, at times, nothing at all.
Don’t let them get away with it. Reach out to our law office today. We have over twenty years of experience. We’re known as some of Edmonton’s toughest litigators and savviest negotiators. We’ve handled thousands of personal injury cases, including many which involve pedestrian accident victims.
Best of all, calling us is risk-free. All personal injury lawyers work on contingency, which means we don’t get paid until we bring your case to a successful conclusion. You don’t have to come up with a retainer. You don’t have to worry about paying an exorbitant hourly rate. All you have to do is tell us your story. If we decide to take you on as a client we’ll handle the rest. We’ll even communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.
The longer you wait, the weaker your pedestrian accident case gets. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence, call (780) 413-9777 to get matched with one of our top-notch personal injury lawyers today.