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NYC pedestrians better protected in case of an accident

In a previous blog, we wrote about  a bill that would extend NYC pedestrians’ right of way when the countdown clock is in progress at a crosswalk or when the signal is flashing.  This bill was unanimously passed by the City Council on Wednesday.  It was backed by the DOT and by The NYPD  and is expected to be enacted by the mayor as soon as possible.

With the enactment of this new bill, the NYPD and District Attorneys will have no more excuses for not bringing cases against drivers who strike pedestrians while they are in the crosswalk. According to Streetblog, in the past, many cases were not pursued because Section 4-03 of the Traffic Rules of the City of New York stated that “no pedestrian shall enter or cross the roadway” during the flashing “Don’t Walk” phase”.

The new bill intro-997, amends this section of the Rules of the City of New York and establishes the right of way for pedestrians “when a steady walking person, flashing upraised hand, or flashing upraised hand with a countdown clock is displayed on a pedestrian control signal”.

Introduced by Public Advocate Tish James, the new bill closes a loophole that was “defying common sense”. Now slow moving pedestrians such as seniors will also be protected in case of an accident during the last 20 seconds on the countdown.

pedestrians right of way

Graph source: DOT