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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38734
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I was struck by a car in Doylestown, Pennsylvania I was jogging

Resolved Question:

I was struck by a car in Doylestown, Pennsylvania
I was jogging in the right lane with traffic. Was definitely hugging the curb.
There were no sidewalks. And there was no margin.

The left side of the roadway had a guardrail that extends out beyond the curb onto the roadway and creates a narrowing of the left lane... Additionally, weeds and vegetation, some with stickers extend to the roadway. And more, as you approach the guardrail there is a universal no pedestrian sign, essentially a stick-person inside a circle with a diagonal line running through the circle... The sign is there because it is unsafe for a pedestrian to be on the roadway for the length of the guardrail. There is no escape if an oncoming car is coming at you... On the other side of this guardrail is a 15 foot drop to a water run-off. Clearly too dangerous for any pedestrian to be on the roadway there...
Department of streets must've recognized this as well, as evidence, the fact that they put the sign there.... I was wearing reflectors. I was under a street light with electrically lit signage along the roadway directly where I was struck by the suv... the road is straight. Vehicles on the roadway have no visual impairment. Can see everything in front of them for hundreds of feet.... There are no alternate streets to travel in parallel to this street... Being aware of Pa Law 75 sub-section 3544. It has 4 items (a,b,c,d) Each item is one sentence and in each section makes use of the phrase "when practicable"... I have been running this street since 1974... of the 15 miles of this roadway this guardrail creates a 150 foot hazard that doesn't exist anywhere else on the roadway... I know first hand the dangers of this section. I avoid it by running opposite side of street there.. Again opposite side of street is most well lit area of that entire 15 mile stretch of roadway... I was cited for being on the wrong side of the street with reference to Pa 75 ss 3544... Is there anyway that I can successfully challenge this law... It seems there is some ambiguity in its implementation. And it makes no clear provision for a situation such as the one I am describing. Has there been any successful challenges to this law.... Can you help me
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Pease permit me to assist you, I am a Pennsylvania licensed professional.

My apologies on the blunt question, but were you on the wrong side of the street when you were struck by the vehicle?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Yes... (but clearly the extenuating circumstances I believe are examples that I would invoke the importance of the verbiage "where practicable")


 


I do not mind the blunt question... I want to know where I stand on this.


Thank You.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Glen.

I have the statute right here and it specifically states in 3544(c) that if there is no crosswalk, sidewalk, or shoulder, you have walk on the left (or the opposing) side of the road, and you have to yield to vehicle. That isn't really ambiguous or confusing, it is a fairly direct limitation on travel. That isn't based on what lights or items you wear to be visible, it is all based on your location. Furthermore, this is a traffic statute and traffic statutes are treated somewhat differently from other statutes. Unlike other codes where potential intent or mens rea has to be shown, these are considered 'strict liability' offenses. That literally means that if you aren't doing what the statute states, you are in violation, and your excuse, justification, or explanation is irrelevant. That is similar to speeding--it also does not matter if you accidentally exceeded speeding limits or you had a genuine emergency, that is still a violation, it is just that there may be other justifications or excuses as to why that statute should not come into play. Furthermore, this type of statute is not discriminatory and comes squarely under PA's police power to regulate roads and traffic--I really do not see any grounds here or case law to help you if you were violating the statute. I can also see why your attorney does not want to touch it because he does not want to provide you with unwelcome news, something that I am compelled to provide you with based on your question.

My apologies but as a professional I owe you a duty to provide you with the facts, and I do not see this as something that could be successfully challenged based on your facts.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So Dimitry... Even with signs posted that prohibit pedestrians to walk on the left side facing traffic. And even if it is impossible to safely walk on the left side in that particular place (and I am not exaggerating my description) and no alternative streets to traverse and even with the expression "when practicable" you're saying I am fighting an impossible battle...


I do accept your answer Dimitri, but it seems surely there must be exceptions where it is impossible to safely follow this law. It seems the law wasn't thoroughly thought through to deal with exceptions such as the one I described.... I'm just venting Dimitri... I was seriously injured when struck by the vehicle...


 


Kind Regards.


Glen

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Glen.

Whenever practicable is not quite what the statute says. Here is the excerpt:

"
(c) Absence of sidewalk and shoulder.--Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
"

Based on this reading it states that this is a two lane road, any pedestrian must be on the left regardless of signs. That is why this is a fairly uphill battle for you. You can potentially attempt to claim that you attempted to follow the signs in good faith as you reasonably believed that any sign overrules whatever the code would be if the statute and the sign placement is contrary. But that is really the best argument, and it is not terribly strong.

I totally understand why you are venting, and I do agree that no law or statute is ever perfect, but I am somewhat handcuffed here myself by solely looking at the language so as to provide a proper analysis.

Also, please be aware that even with this ticket you still have the ability to file for a personal injury claim against the vehicle and claim that they were negligent--this ticket does not block your ability to file.

Hope that helps and if satisfied, kindly do not forget to positively rate my responses. Thank you.

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38734
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney at Law
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Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.