San Diego, CA asked in Traffic Tickets for California

Q: Hello, I received a ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian. CVC 21950.

My situation and question; 2 lane road. From right to left. 1/2/3/4. I was in lane 1, merging to turn right. The pedestrian was crossing from the 4th into 3rd lane, I slowed, then deemed it was safe to pull through. After I completed the pass is when I was stopped for failing to yield.

I know to yield and give right of way to a pedestrian however, is it allowed to drive through a crosswalk when deemed safe to do so; or do you have to wait until the pedestrian has completed the cross?

I have a ticket and wish to know whether I should plead guilty or not guilty as I have a court date.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California Vehicle Code 21950, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. This means slowing down, stopping if necessary, and taking all care to avoid endangering the safety of pedestrians. However, it's also important to note that pedestrians must exercise reasonable care for their safety and not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety to walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

In your situation, even if the pedestrian was not yet crossing directly in front of your lane, the law generally expects drivers to wait until the pedestrian has completely crossed the roadway, not just your lane of traffic. Deciding when it is "safe" to proceed can be subjective and depends on the specific circumstances, but typically, the safer approach—and often the legally required one—is to wait until the pedestrian has finished crossing to the opposite sidewalk.

Regarding your court date and whether to plead guilty or not guilty, this is a personal decision that can significantly impact the outcome. Consider consulting with a legal professional who can provide advice based on the specifics of your case and your local jurisdiction's laws. They can offer a more tailored approach, considering the details of the incident and your personal circumstances.

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