Question: What is the proper response when another driver unilaterally gives you the right of way, in conflict with the rules of the road and/or traffic laws? For example, an oncoming driver gives you the right of way, allowing you to make a left turn in front of him, regardless of the law requiring left turns to yield to oncoming traffic. It creates a dangerous situation if other motorists aren't aware of the temporary suspension of traffic convention created, ad hoc, by one "good Samaritan" - especially on multi-lane roads.
Answer: This frequently results in a crash as you proceed across the lane where the "good Samaritan" has allowed you to pass. The car, either coming up alongside them in the same direction or approaching from the opposite direction, doesn't see you and has no idea that you are about to appear in front of them. You will be the one that receives the ticket for failure to yield. You must make sure it is safe for you to turn across traffic.
Q: I cross the intersection at the entrance to Bloedel Donovan Park on a regular basis. The crosswalk is not marked. Many vehicles do not slow down, let alone stop, when a crossing is attempted. Are they required to stop when I present myself to cross?
A: I drove to the park to see what the area looked like. I found a marked crosswalk at Alabama and Electric (the east end of the park) that would put you on the only sidewalk in the area. I found a marked crosswalk where the railroad trail comes out from Whatcom Falls Park (the west end of the park) that continues on into Bloedel Donovan Park. The only place I did not find a marked crosswalk was at the actual driveway entrance into the park where the residential access road is. If this is the location you are asking about, yes, it is still an intersection and should be treated as an unmarked crosswalk. Yes, drivers should stop to allow you to cross.
ABOUT RULES OF THE ROAD
Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices.
Answers come from David Wright, a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now serving on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.
To ask a question, go to http://www.bellinghamherald.com/ask-a-question/.