Understanding the crosswalk law


A Sept. 11 letter writer has the right sentiment, but the wrong interpretation of the crosswalk law. She states: "I hope Minnesota drivers wake up and realize that braking for pedestrians, whether or not they are in a crosswalk, is a law, not just a suggestion.

The crosswalk law and intent is clear, but there are subtleties. In the absence of a traffic signal, pedestrians are well-advised to cross a street at a crosswalk. A crosswalk at an intersection can be marked or unmarked.

The pedestrian must exercise caution before entering the crosswalk and not suddenly leave the curb. Simply standing on the curb at the crosswalk does not require a driver to stop.

Many pedestrians are correctly waiting for the safest time to enter the crosswalk, which is as it should be. However, once the pedestrian is in the crosswalk, vehicles are by law required to stop.

Drivers must remain stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle has stopped. The driver of any other vehicle approaching the rear cannot legally overtake and pass the stopped vehicle, which is an obvious safety concern for pedestrians.

I applaud those jurisdictions that are taking the initiative at better enforcement and those that are making better use of signs.


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One chance left to register objections


An executive order from Gov. Mark Dayton is now the only thing that can stop trapping/snaring of wolves during the 2012 wolf season. If there is to be a wolf season, then let us at least ensure that wolves are only gun-hunted, where the chance of a quick death is more likely.

Anyone wanting to weigh in can contact Dayton by phone (800-657-3717) or letter at: 130 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul MN 55155. Comments also can be submitted via an e-mail form on his website. Time is running short -- wolf season begins Nov. 3.

Many believe the season to be ill-advised, especially since our Legislature quickly and quietly added a rider to last year's budget bill that removed the five-year waiting period that was supposed to occur before any wolf-management plan was developed. Minnesotans and our wildlife legacy deserve better than this rush to kill that leaves so many questions unanswered.