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The law is pretty clear when a pedestrian (or cyclist) is in the crosswalk. It's also clear that vehicles aren't obligated to stop merely because someone is on the sidewalk waiting to cross, although when I'm in the car, I try not to be a jerk and will slow and wave them across. The murky part concerns when a pedestrian is just entering the crosswalk: The law places a duty on the pedestrian/cyclist to give vehicles a reasonable time to stop (so you can't just leap out there and expect to prevail in court if you're hit), while placing a duty on motorists to be vigilant when approaching a crosswalk so that they can stop if given reasonable chance to do so. In my view, this all works pretty well as a legal matter, since it places a legal obligation on all parties to be aware of their surroundings and use their noggin around crossings.

I have no familiarity with the crosswalk you're talking about, Longtail, so can't comment on the specifics there. If that's in Towson, however, then I don't see how Baltimore crime has anything to do with it. But in any case, I'm not a fan of police ignoring all minor safety violations simply because more serious crime also occurs. That means addressing petty harassment by squeegee kids in addition to arresting murderers, enforcing recreational fishing limits in addition to going after commercial net pirates, and enforcing traffic crossing rules in addition to apprehending stolen taxidermy (or whatever happens by way of serious crime north of Baltimore).
 

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Without being familiar with the area, I can't comment in detail. As a matter of law, the guy going going around has a duty to be aware of his surroundings. But I agree that an uncontrolled crossing on a 45mph road seems poorly thought out.
 
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