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    Yield to Pedestrian in Crosswalk Citation

    Jurisdiction / State: Kansas

    I received a ticket today for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk (right after a day and a half of performing jury duty). For this I am guilty; however, in my defense the pedestrian had to cross four lanes before reaching the lane I was turning to the right onto, and she had only crossed the first lane. But regardless, I did not yield right of way.

    My real question is in regards to the code I am being charged under, 10.01.070. The code states on the ticket the following:

    10.01.070 Driving Through Safety Zone Prohibited
    (police note: FTY to a ped in crosswalk)

    A safety zone is defined by the city of Olathe, KS as follows:
    SAFETY ZONE. The area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of
    pedestrians and which is protected or is so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly
    visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone.

    They further define the Code 10.01.070:
    10.01.070 Driving Through Safety Zone Prohibited. No vehicle shall at any time be driven
    through or within a safety zone. (Ord. 01-89 2, 2001.)

    So based on my violation of code 10.01.070, am I to assume that I, or anyone, are never able to drive over a crosswalk regardless of if a pedestrian is there or not in the city of Olathe?

    Is this traffic ticket one I could potentially fight and win in traffic court due to being ticketed for the wrong code/violation, or can an officer of the law interpret the code in a manner that they feel meets the violation?
    Last edited by kansas; 03-13-2012 at 08:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    It does sound like one you could fight. The definition given suggests that a safety zone is something other than a crosswalk. However, the citation could be amended to the correct violation.
    See if you can find some examples of what a safety zone is considered to be. I would think it would be something along the lines of pedestrian thoroughfares through a marketplace or something of that nature.

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    Also, stop acknowledging that there was a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

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    On the other side. When the zones conditions are met, it is exclusively reserved for pedestrian use. You have an uphill battle.

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    I found this on another thread. Any thoughts?

    The definition of "Safety zone" was adopted decades ago in the (national model)
    Uniform Vehicle Code and subsequently adopted by most states in their state
    codes. At the time everyone understood they were used for streetcar stops,
    because streetcars ran in most larger cities until the 1950s. Safety zones were
    islands in the roadway reserved for the exclusive use of pedestrians, intended
    for the purpose of boarding or alighting from streetcars. The current MUTCD
    does not define or refer to "safety zone" (except in a single passage in 8C.06
    that refers to "safety zone" in a different sense) but does define "Island":

    "a defined area between traffic lanes for control of vehicular movements, for
    toll collection, or for pedestrian refuge".

    A crosswalk could not be a safety zone because crosswalks are not set apart for
    the exclusive use of pedestrians; on the contrary, a driver may drive over a
    crosswalk under any condition in which doing so would not be contrary to law.

    Streetcars have made a comeback in a number of US cities. I know one operates
    in Tampa, but I don't know whether it uses "safety zones".

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    Again, I think you have a good argument to make, but in making it you don't want to admit that there was ever a pedestrian in the crosswalk.


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