Suppose I approach a T intersection but am on the road that doesn't have a stop or yield sign and I do not intend to turn. There is a sidewalk on the other side of the intersection and a seeing pedestrian, but no marked crosswalk. Does he have the legal right of way?

2 Answers 2


1.4. VC 21950: Pedestrians crossing a street at a crosswalk The most important pedestrian and crosswalk law is CVC 21950, which deals with crossing a street at a crosswalk. This California law is at the heart of many pedestrian accidents and pedestrian fatalities.

VC 21950(a) creates a general rule: Motor vehicles have to yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street in a crosswalk. Pedestrians always have the right of way. This requires drivers to slow down and exercise caution to keep the pedestrian safe.2 It also creates a legal duty for motorists to exercise due care for the safety of walkers.3

1.2. VC 275: What is a crosswalk? Under CVC 275, a crosswalk can be either:

A portion of the road painted with the distinctive white lines that people are familiar seeing, or

Where 2 roads meet at approximately right angles, the extensions of the sidewalks through the intersection. ### Ergo !!! Also T-Junction ### |--- perfect right angle

This means there can be a pedestrian crossing at an intersection even if there are no white lines on the pavement.


The answer appears to be yes.
See California Vehicle Code Section 21949-21971, especially:

  1. (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the policy of the State of California that safe and convenient pedestrian travel and access, whether by foot, wheelchair, walker, or stroller, be provided to the residents of the state.
  2. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
    (b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
    (c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.
    (d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who violates ... subdivision (a) of Section 21950 ... and causes the bodily injury of anyone other than the driver is guilty of an infraction punishable under Section 42001.18.

See also the CA Driver Handbook:

Respect the right-of-way of pedestrians. Always stop for any pedestrian crossing at corners or other crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is in the middle of the block, at corners with or without traffic lights, whether or not the crosswalks are marked by painted lines.

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