Sunday, January 14, 2007

On crossing the street in Virginia

In Maybury v. Morton, Magistrate Judge Urbanski ruled regarding the applicability of Va. Code 46.2-924 to the accident between the plaintiff pedestrian and defendant driver, that subsection B and not subsection A was controlling, as to which party had the right of way.

Subsection A provides:

A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

Subsection B provides, in relevant part:

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection A of this section, at intersections or crosswalks where the movement of traffic is being regulated by law-enforcement officers or traffic control devices, the driver shall yield according to the direction of the law-enforcement officer or device.

Under the facts of the case, the judge ruled that the crosswalk was controlled by the "traffic control device" even though there was some slight distance between the light and the walk in downtown Wytheville.

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