Skip to content

Question on Blocking Pedestrian Crosswalks – The Inevitable

Question on Blocking Pedestrian Crosswalks - The Inevitable

Question : I have a question about crosswalks which have no traffic lights and where you are trying to turn on to a busier road. I know that I should stop before the crosswalk and wait for pedestrians to clear.  Once they clear, I can cover the crosswalk and start to edge out.
But, what if the road I am trying to turn on to is a busy one and I am blocking the crosswalk for a while. More pedestrians may arrive to cross and they would be forced to go around me. Is this illegal or would I be marked down if it happened in the test?

This is a good question. You’re right in that when stopping, you should stop with your front bumper behind the white line (behind the unmarked crosswalk, or behind the edge of the curb, whichever comes first) and scan the intersection for pedestrians (among other things). You are required to yield to pedestrians at that point.


After yielding to any pedestrians, if you have poor visibility it is usually due to either parked vehicles or beautiful (or not so beautiful) landscaping. In this case, yes you should slowly inch forward until you have sufficient visibility; quite often up to the edge of the parked vehicles.


If pedestrians appear after this, then that is fine. You are not doing anything wrong, as long as you originally stopped and yielded to any approaching pedestrians. You don’t really have much of a choice here; you kind of have to inch forward in order to make a safe decision, so quite often you will be sitting on top of a crosswalk like this. You are not expected to (in fact, please don’t) reverse in this situation. Your job though, would be to obviously notice them (many drivers stare only one direction for a while and forget to check to the right for pedestrians).

Encourage them to go behind you. This is safer than having them walk in front of you, forcing them onto the road and into the path of traffic. If you see pedestrians approaching and it looks like they’re trying to decide whether to go in front or behind you, if you have room move forward just an inch or two; this seems to help pedestrians to understand!


As always, think of the big picture and be prepared to honk to alert another driver who might not notice pedestrians in a time when you think he should (like the left-turning vehicle from the through street). Hope this answers your question Emma.

Author Profile

Question on Blocking Pedestrian Crosswalks - The Inevitable
Carmen Cohoe
Carmen became a driving instructor in beautiful North Vancouver at the age of 22 due to some crazy people who agreed to hire her. After that, there was never a dull moment teaching many different folks from many different places how to drive using automatic and standard vehicles and a minivan.