What’s the opposite of infallible?

If a pedestrian crosses against the light, should you swerve around him?

Not in Massachusetts, according to a recent decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Slam on the brakes or else. The judges ruled that neither a green light nor a don’t walk signal means anything; the driver is always wrong.

Technically pedestrians aren’t supposed to cross against the light. But this isn’t LA. The Massachusetts legislature has ordered that pedestrians not be ticketed. State law forbids doing more than sending a bill for a dollar after filing a lot of paperwork. Attempts to make the law enforceable have been consistently voted down. That’s an order from the state legislature not to ticket a pedestrian ever.

“Don’t walk” doesn’t matter, and the court just ruled that a green light doesn’t matter either.

The driver had a green arrow, the pedestrian crossed on a don’t walk signal, and it was still the driver’s fault.

The decision applies to tickets too. It doesn’t matter if your light was green. If the undercover cop puts one toe into the crosswalk on the far side of a four lane street, you get a ticket for running the green.

Of course they’ll run that sort of sting. Tickets are a game.

The lesson to Massachusetts drivers is, not even slowing down for a red is in the same category as passing a pedestrian on the other side of the street walking away from you. Red light, ticket, green light, ticket.

See any cops?

The opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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