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Do Pedestrians Really Have The Right-Of-Way All The Time In Maine?

Let’s be honest for a second, there’s a very good chance you’ve been on both sides of the coin in a debate over whether or not pedestrians have the right-of-way ALL the time. It’s like you’ve been attempting a right turn and seen that unmistakable orange hand at the crosswalk, yet a pedestrian walking along anyway. There’s always the distinct possibility that you’ve been a pedestrian with that very obvious white walk sign in front of you, yet had to use caution because a motorist is barreling down fast. So who is right and who is wrong?

Well, there’s no easy way to answer that. Maine has a lot of provisions in their pedestrian laws. We’ve all been taught that pedestrians have the right-of-way, no questions asked. But in Maine, that really isn’t always the case.

For instance, when traffic-control devices (those orange and white signs that tell when to walk or not walk) are in operation, pedestrians are to abide by them. So that example above, where someone is still strolling across the street despite that orange hand saying don’t, is against pedestrian law.

However, there are ton of crosswalks all across Maine in which there are no traffic signals nor crosswalk signals. In those cases, pedestrians always have the right-of-way and motorists must yield to them.

Additionally, Maine requires motorists, no pedestrians, to always use “due care” when behind the wheel. Ultimately that’s a nice way of saying that even if a pedestrian is clearly breaking pedestrian law, motorists should know better than run over them with their vehicle. Makes sense.

Is this going to help the road rage when someone is passing through an intersection when you have a green light? No. But at least YOU’RE not breaking the law, right?



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