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)

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

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read