New Pedestrian Laws Take Effect


New Pedestrian Laws Take Effect

I’m Ed Smith, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Sacramento. Pedestrians can hopefully breathe easier with a new clarification of the law on when a pedestrian can cross streets that utilize traffic signals.

When Can a Pedestrian Cross the Street?

Under California Assembly Bill 390, it is now legal for a pedestrian to proceed across when the traffic sign is flashing “wait” or “don’t walk.” He or she may also proceed if the hand shows the upraised hand or is in the countdown. However, the pedestrian must be able to reach the other corner before the flashing stops and the signal becomes a solid color. For a long time, pedestrians crossing when the light was flashing risked getting ticketed. Although a ticket wasn’t that expensive, by the time all the surcharges were added on, it could have cost a pedestrian several hundred dollars, according to an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Watch Youtube Video ~ 2018 New Laws [below] for a few more laws to make a note of if you are a resident of California.

Clarifying the Original Pedestrian Law

The law for pedestrians crossing the street, California Vehicle Code 21456, was written in 1981. At that time, countdown timers weren’t common. In Los Angeles, countdown timers weren’t added until 2008. In the intervening years, thousands of expensive tickets were issued because of the lack of clarification of the law.

California Pedestrian Accident Fatalities

In 2015, California placed first in the number of pedestrian fatalities nationwide as reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.There were 3,176 traffic fatalities that year with 742 deaths being those of pedestrians. This represented 23.4 percent of the total fatalities. About 129,000 sought treatment at a medical facility for injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ninety percent of the pedestrian fatalities nationwide occurred in single vehicle accidents.

Sacramento Pedestrian Fatalities

The California Office of Traffic Safety reported that 228 pedestrians were either injured or killed in 2015 in traffic accidents in Sacramento. This showed an increase of 35 persons over the previous year. In Sacramento County, there were 535 pedestrians killed or injured in traffic accidents in 2015. The previous year there were 440 recorded.

Pedestrian Injuries

Injuries to pedestrians involved in a collision with a motor vehicle can be traumatic and result in a long period of hospitalization and resultant expenses. Medical bills and lost wages can be compounded by ongoing medical treatment and other costs such as the need for a home health worker to assist during recuperation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help by compiling all the evidence in the case, from police records to witness accounts, to build a case for fair compensation. In that way, the financial end of the injury is no longer a worry. Experience counts when trying to recover damages in an accident. A seasoned lawyer can use an expert witness, accident reconstruction and other techniques to not only structure a case but to claim the maximum an injury victim is entitled to.

Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Sacramento. Pedestrian accidents frequently result in severe injuries. If you or your family member was injured by a negligent motorist, you might be eligible to recover compensation for those injuries. Please give me a call at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400. I am here to offer you my friendly advice free of charge. You can also contact me at our online form on, the website I own and founded.

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I am honored to have represented many Sacramento and Sacramento County residents in my 35 years of practice as an injury lawyer. My firm represents a broad range of personal injuries from vehicular accidents to those involving catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury.

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