Officially, unmarked crosswalks exist at all intersections and are to be treated the same as any marked intersection. But what is an unmarked crosswalk? All non-freeway intersections are, officially, unmarked crosswalks. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Dangers remain the same for marked, unmarked crosswalks

‘Imaginary lines drawn across the street, from one edge of the sidewalk to the other’

The definition as to what constitutes an unmarked crosswalk in B.C. has become a slow burning issue.

Due to growing concern over driver-caused fatalities and injuries, the question as to just when there is an unmarked crosswalk is getting more attention in recent years.

It’s certainly an area of concern for traffic enforcement such as Oak Bay Police, said Oak Bay Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties, mostly due to speeding drivers.

“[Oak Bay Police’s] understanding is that any intersection is also a crosswalk,” Bernoties said. “Personally, I see no benefit to anyone by driving fast in residential neighbourhoods. In Oak Bay, virtually every street is someone’s street so people should drive the way they want people to drive by their house and their children and pets.”

Last month a woman watched as her dog was run over and killed by a hit-and-run driver while she was crossing on a painted crosswalk on Foul Bay Road (the driver hit and injured her too). This week, the driver Tenessa Nikirk who took Leila Bui’s conscience life away, is in court for her actions on Ash Road in Saanich in 2017 while allegedly speeding up to 90km/h and possibly texting when she struck Bui.

These incidents are happening on marked crosswalks, and anyone who uses crosswalks in Victoria knows many drivers will not stop even if it is a painted crosswalk.

There’s no measured evidence that it’s more dangerous to cross at an unmarked crosswalk but logic says it can’t be much different.

One rule that’s different in B.C than other provinces is that drivers are under no obligation to wait until a pedestrian is off the crosswalk before driving through it.

Section 179 of B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act says only that “a vehicle must yield the right of way to a pedestrian where traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation when the pedestrian is crossing…”

READ MORE: Hit-and-run driver kills dog, injures owner in Oak Bay crosswalk

The act defines a crosswalk as either: the portion of the roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by signs or by lines or other markings on the surface, or … the extension of the lateral lines of the sidewalk, curb or edge of the roadway (whether it is marked or not).

In a blog, Victoria lawyer Darren Williams interpreted this as “within the imaginary lines drawn across the street, from one edge of the sidewalk, curb or pavement edge, to a similar edge on the other side of the street.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria resident sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Boat says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Island Health to use Saanich recreation centre to support pandemic needs

Cedar Hill Recreation Centre will be used as a referral-only assessment clinic

Tents, sleeping bags donated to Our Place from local Victoria store

Robinson’s Outdoor Store received funds from PwC Canada to make the donation

Victoria police seek public help finding high-risk missing woman last seen on ferry

Mariah Konchak has shoulder-length dark hair, scars above her right eye and may be missing a tooth

Langford expands COVID-19 response to include all of West Shore, home testing

City’s mobile team has already tested 20 people at home

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Nanaimo dentists donate 4,000 masks, 25,000 gloves to health-care peers

Nanaimo District Dental Society collects items for front-line workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read