Pedestrians’ Right of Way in Nova Scotia
One of the most important factors in determining whether a pedestrian has the right of way is whether the pedestrian is in a crosswalk. Crosswalks can be “marked” with lines on the pavement or other markings. There are also “unmarked” crosswalks, which are “formed by imaginary lines extending across the streets” at intersections of more than one street. Every intersection has crosswalks, marked or unmarked.
The following is a list of scenarios in which a pedestrian has the right of way:
- Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians at any and all intersections, as long as the pedestrian is crossing in a marked or an unmarked crosswalk.
- Pedestrians always have the right of way in an intersection with no traffic signal, regardless of whether they are crossing in a marked or an unmarked crosswalk.
- Pedestrians in a crosswalk always have the right of way when they are crossing the street with a green traffic signal, even if they are crossing the path of a vehicle that is making a turn.
- Pedestrians always have the right of way whenever they are crossing the street with a “walk” signal—this walk signal gives pedestrians the same right of way as a green light.
- Drivers must yield the right of way to any and all pedestrians whenever a driver is leaving a private driveway or a parking lot.
- Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians anytime the driver is making a turn.
- Drivers cannot have the right of way simply by signaling.
- Drivers do not have the right of way over pedestrians when they have a green light—pedestrians still have the right of way as long as they are also following the rules of the road (not applicable in the Town of Shelburne as there are no lights but applicable throughout Nova Scotia).