Comment 91260

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted August 22, 2013 at 17:20:09 in reply to Comment 91246

After digging a bit more, I am even more confused by this statement on the Ontario Traffic Council (municipal traffic engineers association) website:

"In Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act defines crosswalks without distinction between controlled and uncontrolled crossing locations. In spite of this, the rules of the road are distinct."

I had thought they were using "Rules of the Road" in an informal sense to mean driving conventions, rather than rules as set out in the Act. However, Part X of the Act is actually called "Rules of the Road"

and it states, consistent with the rest of the Act:

"Yielding to pedestrians (7) When under this section a driver is permitted to proceed, the driver shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within a crosswalk. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 144 (7)."

So what exactly are these mysterious "Rules of the Road" if they are not the "Rules of Road" as defined in Part X of the Act? Where are they codified? Or are they simply passed on as conventions (i.e. "pedestrian treatments") from one generation of traffic engineers to the next? The traffic engineers' consideration of uncontrolled crosswalks is confused and contradictory, and doesn't seem grounded in either law or regulation. See also, where the problem of uncontrolled crossings is described as "lack of formal right-of-way designation for pedestrians", which makes it sound as if it is the lack of reminders to both pedestrians and motorists of who has the right of way that is the problem, not that motorists don't have a duty to yield. And further, "The presence of enhanced pedestrian features at uncontrolled crossings may create a false sense of confidence on the part of pedestrians, particularly children, who may enter the crossing expecting that approaching drivers will see them and stop. " In other words, pedestrians might actually expect motorists to obey the Highway Traffic Act, as they do in other provinces!

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2013-08-22 17:49:36

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