My current job is located away from major traffic streets resulting in daily encounters with multiple stop signs and some crosswalk signs here and there. I’ve always been curious about the legal standing of these crosswalks. Here’s what I found:
Below is an excerpt from the Illnois Vehicle Code. Basically, people can cross if they can get to the halfway point of the crosswalk. That’s the magically point where pedestrians gain the right-of-way. If you’re not at the halfway point of the crosswalk and a car approaches, then you could have some problems because the car has the right-of-way. So people really should not expect cars to stop for them when they are about to cross.
The right of way at crosswalks, extracted from the Illinois Vehicle Code, Rules of the Road, 625 ILCS 5/11-1002
Pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks.
(a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
The City of Wheaton, Illinois has similar information with additions:
1. No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard;
2. Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle; and,
3. Whenever stop signs or flashing red signals are in place at an intersection or at a plainly marked crosswalk between intersections, drivers shall yield right of way to pedestrians as set forth in Section 11 904 of this Chapter.
Source: 625 ILCS 5/11-1002
So Wheaton’s reference indicates two additional items: 1: When a car is stopped for a pedestrian, the cars behind him have to stop too and can’t try to pass (duh). 2: if there’s flashing red lights at the scene, then the car must stop.
I was also inspired to look up these rules after reading Blair Kamin’s blog post on the pedestrian crossing by the Tute.