True story. As a kid I would always hear that, in Massachusetts pedestrians had the right of way. I never really knew if it was true, or why it was such a common topic for discussion among pre teens in the 1970’s. Was it some kind of remnant from the ancient past, like our use of the word “dingle“?
Anytime my dad heard anything about having the right of way he would comment: “He died with the right of way”.
I remember the CNU presentation about how it was that the automobile took control of our streets and the specific incident of the mother in Georgia who went to jail because, rather than walk the better part of a mile out of her way to get to the “closest” crosswalk after going shopping with her 3 kids and getting dropped off by the bus, she chose to cross directly across the street. When her 4 year old son was killed by an oncoming car driven by a drunk driver she was deemed to also be criminally at fault.
Just yesterday in Springfield an incident was reported in which a pedestrian died. Each news report decided to include that the victim was not in a crosswalk:
Looking at a map of the area where the incident occurred I would say the victim was clearly much more than 300 feet from the nearest crosswalk:
This is one of the more suburban areas within the boundaries of the city of Springfield. The closest crosswalk was over three times the 300 feet obligation the law sets out for pedestrians. Is it germane that the pedestrian, then, wasn’t in a crosswalk?
I wonder if it will ever be the case that asking if a person crushed to death by a car was in a crosswalk will sound like asking what a woman was wearing when she was raped?