If a driver is going 35 mph in a school zone and hits a 15-year-old pedestrian who was jaywalking, who is at fault or liable?
Answer from CHP spokesman Bradley Sadek, who is a saint in uniform for answering our questions:
The pedestrian would likely be at fault.
Here’s why: (Many different things factor into any collision investigation, but all those variables being the same.)
The vehicle traveling at 35 MPH in the school zone, while above the speed limit, could continue indefinitely at that speed without causing any collisions. The pedestrian’s choice to “Jaywalk” in front of an approaching vehicle is what caused this collision.
A pedestrian is required by law to cross in a crosswalk or at an intersection. “Jaywalking” puts pedestrians in an area motorists don’t expect to see them. Often, crossing from between visual obstructions such as cars stopped on the shoulder. A pedestrian is just as responsible for his safety on the roadway as the motorist.
PATCH EDITOR BRAD KAVA WILL GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED FROM LOCAL POLICE AGENCIES. POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR EMAIL HIM AT BRAD.KAVA@PATCH.COM.