If you drive through the intersection at Bristol Pike and Edgely Rd often, take care to yield to pedestrians properly.
It seems like drivers in Levittown, Pennsylvania have a bad habit of acting like pedestrians don’t have the right of way…at all.
Dashcam video footage submitted by Redditor /u/RatsAreCool shows the unfortunate moment a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian at a Levittown, PA intersection as they turn left. When one driver finally does yield as, if they didn’t stop they would’ve collided with that pedestrian, they get rear-ended by a driver following close behind.
Check out the dashcam video below.
As mentioned, the accident happened at the intersection of Bristol Pike and Edgely Rd (exact location on Google Maps found here.)
In the video, we see a pedestrian start to cross at this multi-lane intersection at the same time vehicles on Edgely Rd get the green light to turn left onto Bristol Pike.
Two vehicles start and complete their left turns in front of the pedestrian, which, for reasons I’ll get into, is well within the spirit of yielding the right of way for them to do.
Essentially, the pedestrian was three lanes away before reaching the mid-point of the intersection, and it’s reasonable to turn left in front of said pedestrian as long as they yield enough space.
The third vehicle is just about to cross in front of the pedestrian’s crosswalk (aka their lane of travel) but stops abruptly, forced to yield their right of way.
A car following close behind doesn’t react in time and slams into the back of the yielding Toyota RAV-4 resulting in a major headache for both drivers.
It goes without saying but, assuming both drivers are insured, the white crossover following close behind the RAV-4 is at fault.
“When a pedestrian crosses the street in a crosswalk, the driver must yield.”
No ifs, ands, or buts.
That being said, Penn DOT’s general guideline does not spell out specifically how to yield, especially when it comes to multi-lane intersections.
A birds-eye view of this intersection, shows that pedestrian crossing five lanes.
The way I understand yielding to pedestrians when they enter a crosswalk at multiple lanes, it’s OK to start and complete your turn with a pedestrian in the crosswalk as long as there’s enough space between you and the pedestrian.
If you’re giving enough room, you’re yielding.
That being said, there’s a narrow window of cars that can turn in front of a pedestrian before drivers should/are forced to yield.
“On a road with one lane in each direction, I wait for all pedestrians.”
“On a street with two lanes each way, I usually wait for all pedestrians.”
“On a street with three or more lanes each way and I see a pedestrian anywhere near the middle of that intersection, I yield because I fear the driver behind me might not see the person crossing the street, may think they can beat the pedestrian or are not aware that other pedestrians are coming.“
“A few seconds of waiting is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of the person on foot.”
US road design is often engineered so drivers can legally make a turn through a crosswalk despite there being a walk signal lit for pedestrians. It allows more pedestrians to cross and drivers, too.
This, however, puts the onus on the driver to pay attention at all times (like they should be anyway) especially where design emphasizes squeezing as much traffic through as possible over safety.
When it comes to pedestrians at crosswalks, it’s pretty simple, if you’re a driver, yield your right of way properly.