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Crosswalks: Making your way across the street in Toronto

According to the Highway Traffic Act, when you're on a roadway that has a pedestrian crossing marked, you should only cross at that marked crossing and nowhere else on the roadway. If you're around 30 metres away from a crosswalk, you may be able to cross the road legally, although there is no law that specifies that. If there's no crosswalk, then it's possible to cross the street legally as long as you decide to yield to oncoming traffic.

When there is a pedestrian control signal, you should only walk across the street when it says walk, and you should stop when it says don't walk, making sure to be off the road when the symbol is flashing or solid.

If you enter the crosswalk when the walk signal is lit but see that it changes while you're crossing, you still have the right of way to finish crossing the road. You must have crossed into the roadway when it said "walk," though, because if you didn't, the driver technically had priority.

In the City of Toronto, crosswalks usually have a minimum of seven seconds of "walk" on crossings. As a pedestrian, you can count the time it takes to cross. If the crossing light doesn't last at least seven seconds, make a note of it and make sure to report it. If you're hit because of the crossing lights working incorrectly, you could have a case against the city; likewise, if a driver hits you when you're in a crosswalk giving you the right of way, you are in a position to file a claim against the driver for negligence.

Source: City of Toronto, "Rules for crossing the street - jaywalking - pedestrian traffic signals," accessed July 29, 2016

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