Hey Cambodia has it right. You just start to cross the street, not making eye contact (because he who makes eye contact first has to give way), and traffic streams around you. Of course in Cambodia traffic there is chaos in slow motion and the center line is only decoration. You share roads with cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles pulling trailers or having an entire family on the bike, elephants, horse drawn carts… Your most important safety device is a working horn.
@OnionSoup That’s right. That is why you look at the ground. If you look at and someone is already staring at you then you have to get out of their way in Cambodia whether in a vehicle, on a bike, walking, on an animal… Thank goodness traffic is maybe going 20-25mph tops, often slower, and on dirt roads they are so rutted you’d bash your head on the roof of the car if you went very fast and/or break your suspension. The good part is if they are already staring at you then you know they see you and won’t hit you as long as you don’t look at them and then have to move.
I was given explicit instructions on how to safely cross a street there. OMG it went against everything we do here. Just step out into the street without looking. NOPE NOPE NOPE are you crazy??? So what I’d do is wear a hat with a brim pulled down, not turn my head, and look with my peripheral vision to make sure when I stepped out I stepped out into a decent gap in traffic.
When I visited frisco (the unpleasant place that was once the city of San Francisco) some time ago the pedestrians were unbelievable. You could get stuck trying to make a turn for multiple light cycles as the streams of them never stopped and never ever gave way for a car. Something to do, I was told by a native, with presumption of fault in any altercation between car and pedestrian landing on the driver, no matter what insanity the pedestrian pulled.
One such fine person stopped in the middle of a lane while the light for that direction went from yellow to red to tie both his shoes, and just flipped off the cars he stuck in the intersection when they had the temerity to honk.
You could tell the californians visiting Las Vegas too because they just presumed they were above and beyond any silliness like crosswalks and red lights while on foot. Back then pedestrians could and would get ticketed for that in LV. Not sure if that is the case any more.
@duodec where I worked several years back in a downtown location (South Eastern state), a lot of the offices were on main street but the parking decks were off a very busy road that ran parallel to main street.
The lights took forever, so many people would not wait for the “walk” at the crosswalk, they would wait for a break in traffic to cross…
So the city bought police officers out and they got a lot of money ticketing the pedestrians who crossed when light wasn’t “walk”. Cut back significantly on pedestrian jackassery.
It varies significantly from state-to-state, and its one of the few areas where I think TN gets it mostly right compared to most states. Vehicles have to “exercise due care”, “maintain a safe speed” etc., but pedestrians only have the right-of-way at marked crosswalks and when exiting from alleyways.