When do pedestrians have the right of way?


NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Under Massachusetts law, a pedestrian crossing the street on a crosswalk, or at an intersection with either a walk signal or a green light, has the right of way.

But pedestrians must always use caution and look both ways.

According to Mass.gov, pedestrians face a variety of risk factors such as a lack of sidewalks, traffic lights, and even poor lighting.

But at the same time, pedestrians can reduce these risks by safely using crosswalks as much possible and avoiding walking on the shoulder of roads.

22News spoke with area residents who raised the issue of traffic in downtown Northampton as a cause for concern when crossing the streets.

But one Florence man told 22News that it’s also the responsibility of the pedestrian to look both ways.

“So in a perfect world, there would be no problems, right?” Mark Hoover asked. “But I think the problem is that cross-walkers have a great feeling of entitlement ’cause they are right and the cars are supposed to stop.”

If you break the law, you can face serious consequences such as a criminal complaint, which formally charges you with committing a crime.

You can also be fined up to $200.

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