Few crossings legal outside crosswalks
What constitutes jaywalking under city or state laws? You previously mentioned that if a person wants to cross the street and the nearest crosswalk or corner exceeds a certain distance, you may cross without being guilty of jaywalking. I feel police are putting on a public relations dog-and-pony show trying to look evenhanded in giving citations for jaywalking. But are they cognizant of the law? They might be giving tickets to people who are lawfully crossing.
Answer: It's true that in certain sections of residential areas, you may cross a street legally outside a crosswalk.
Here are the pertinent laws relating to pedestrians, said Lt. Jerry Wojcik, of the Honolulu Police Department's Traffic Division:
» Section 291C-73 (c) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes: "Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk."
» Section 15-17.2 (b) of the city's Traffic Code: "No pedestrian shall cross any roadway within any business district except within a marked or unmarked crosswalk, nor any roadway in a residence district within 200 feet of any intersection except within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at such intersection."
This is the only reference to distance in either the state or city traffic codes, Wojcik said.
Asked to clarify what that section means, he said, "It would be OK to cross if (pedestrians) are more than 200 feet from a marked or unmarked crosswalk (in a residential area). Unmarked crosswalks are at intersections. So they would have to be more than 200 feet from any intersection."
To give you an idea of what 200 feet is, telephone poles are spaced roughly 100 feet apart, he said.
Wojcik clarified that unmarked crosswalks are considered "an extension of the sidewalks at intersections and are treated the same as a marked crosswalk."
But again, whether you are a motorist ("Kokua Line," March 12) or a pedestrian, "just because you have the right of way doesn't mean you can go," he said. "You have to give any vehicle the opportunity to stop even if you do have the right of way."
Meanwhile, he took exception to your comment about what police are doing to prevent further pedestrian deaths, saying police "have enough work to do without adding a 'dog and pony show' to our list."
Both pedestrians and drivers are violating the law, "thus we are issuing citations to both," he said.
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