Jeff Giampaolo: Just how long must one wait for a crossing pedestrian?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I’m in a quandary sitting at Sierra Highway facing north, planning to make a right turn to proceed east on Soledad Canyon Road. A pedestrian enters the crosswalk on the north side of the street walking toward me on a six-lane thoroughfare.
Am I required to stop and yield to the pedestrian from curb to curb? From a step off the curb until the pedestrian takes the step onto the curb on the other side, do I have to wait to make that right turn?
I have tried to get clarification through the California Vehicle Code 21950 but been unsuccessful. Can I make my right turn when the pedestrian reaches the center median? Is it up to the interpretation of the deputy whether I get cited or not?
I would like some clarification from the LASD. I find it is not easy to find answers unless I subscribe to social media, and I’m working on that.

Jeff Giampaolo

Editor’s note: Sgt. D. Scott Shoemaker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Traffic Division kindly responded to Mr. Giampaolo’s question:
Mr. Giampaolo has looked at the correct vehicle code section. 21950(A) CVC states simply: “the driver yield to a pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” The fact that the vehicle code gives no further definition means “curb to curb.” However, when we do our operations we understand the size of our intersections and the length of time it would take to cross 6-8 lanes of traffic, and we only will cite when the vehicle crosses the crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway (as the motorist).

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