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Pedestrian laws can confuse walkers, drivers

Published On: Aug 20 2014 09:09:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 21 2014 02:31:40 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Katie Higgins looks into the rules about pedestrians and traffic.

BEND, Ore. -

Many NewsChannel 21 viewers took to Facebook after Tuesday's Bend police pedestrian enforcement operation, asking us what the crosswalk laws actually are. We looked into the rules, which many aren't fully aware of.

"The preferred place for a pedestrian to cross is in a cross walk," Sgt. Clint Burleigh said Wednesday.

However, that's not the only legal way to cross a street.

"Now if that's not available, because there are a lot of places it isn't, then the next best place is the intersection," Burleigh said.

One place you're not allowed to cross the street is the middle of the road.

"We don't have a jaywalking statute here in Oregon," Burleigh said.   

But you could be cited for unlawful positioning of a pedestrian -- or if you block traffic in the middle of the road, disorderly conduct.

"When drivers have to stop for pedestrians, it's when that's pedestrian is taking that first step onto the roadway," Burleigh said.

It's a two-way street though. When pedestrians are in the appropriate areas to walk, drivers need to look out.

Pedestrians, however, need to take their safety into their own hands at all times.

"But you have to give cars a reasonable amount of time to stop," Burleigh said.

It's a matter of law -- and common sense.


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