What are the crosswalk laws in Colorado?
Vehicles are required to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
This means that a pedestrian has the right-of-way if they are already in the crosswalk. This does not mean that vehicles are required to stop for pedestrians that are standing at the edge of the roadway waiting to cross.
How does a pedestrian cross at a crosswalk with no traffic signals or traffic control?
Per Colorado law, it is up to the pedestrian to find a safe gap between vehicles before beginning to cross the street.
When approaching a crosswalk, stop at the curb or edge of the roadway before proceeding. Look for cross traffic and turning vehicles that may be approaching from behind. Once it is clear, begin crossing. Each crossing location has unique conditions that may reduce visibility of pedestrians and / or vehicles. To ensure pedestrian safety, continue to check for traffic while crossing.
What is the difference between a traffic signal and a flashing beacon?
A traffic signal is a traffic control device that legally requires drivers to stop for a red light. A flashing beacon is a warning device that calls a driver's attention to a pedestrian in or adjacent to the crossing but does not legally require drivers to stop.
What does a flashing beacon do?
Jefferson County uses Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) at crosswalks that have high pedestrian and vehicular use. The RRFB has a bright flashing light bar that is activated when a pedestrian pushes the button. The flashing light helps to warn drivers that a pedestrian is near or already in the crosswalk.
How should pedestrians use an RRFB?
Per Colorado law, vehicles are not required to stop for RRFBs. It is up to the pedestrian to find a clear gap between vehicles prior to beginning to cross the street.
When approaching an RRFB, stop at the curb or edge of the roadway and look both ways to see if the roadway is clear. Then, push the button and wait for the flashing lights. Once the lights are flashing, look again in all directions to confirm the roadway is clear, including for turning vehicles, and begin crossing. Continue checking for traffic while crossing.
How should motorists treat an RRFB?
The only time a vehicle is legally required to stop is at a traffic control device or traffic signal, or when a person is already crossing within the crosswalk and, therefore, has the right-of-way.
RRFBs are not traffic control devices. They are used as warning devices to let drivers know that there may be people in the crosswalk.
As a motorist, always watch for pedestrians. When a person is crossing the roadway, stop and allow them to cross safely.
Remember to always look both ways, wait for a safe gap, and cross when the roadway is clear. It is important that all roadway users stay vigilant to help keep each other safe!
Please reference the Colorado Revised Statutes for greater detail on state laws:
Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42. Vehicles and Traffic § 42-4-803. Crossing at other than crosswalks
Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42. Vehicles and Traffic § 42-4-802. Pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks
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