crosswalks

Invisible Crosswalks

On a cold December night, a young man walks down the sidewalk of a side street to its intersection with a major road. There are no traffic lights, stop signs, painted lines, or markings of any kind at the intersection. A hundred feet down the major road is a traffic signal with a painted crosswalk and electronic signage for pedestrians. The young man intends to cross the major road to a enter shopping plaza directly across the street from where he now stands. Rather than brave the cold to walk down to the controlled intersection, he immediately starts crossing the major road, which contains two lanes of traffic for each direction, plus a middle turn lane, with sidewalks on both sides of the roadway. When he gets to the middle turn lane, suddenly, a vehicle exiting from the roadway at the shopping center across the street turns left onto the major road. Not seeing the young pedestrian, the vehicle hits the young man and sends him flying 20 feet through the air, finally landing on his back in the roadway.

The driver who hit the young man is frantic, frightened, and upset. He thinks, how could this young man jaywalk across the street right here? The driver runs over to the young pedestrian lying on the road and yells that he should have known better.

But was the young pedestrian jaywalking? There was no marked crosswalk where he crossed, and there was an electronic crossing with a painted crosswalk just half a block up the road. However, the lack of a painted crosswalk does not answer the question. In Utah, legal crosswalks do not necessarily have to be painted or otherwise marked as crosswalks. UCA Sections 41-6a-1002(3) and 41-6A-1003(1) expressly reference unmarked, or implied, crosswalks. The cases interpreting the statute have ruled that a legal, unmarked crosswalk exists at an intersection where sidewalk is present on both sides of the intersection. See, e.g., Langlois v. Rees, 951 P. 2d 638 (Utah 1960). Thus, in our example, the lack of a painted crosswalk did not render the young pedestrian a jaywalker.

The young pedestrian was crossing an intersection with vehicular access on both sides of the main road, and with pedestrian sidewalks on both sides of the road. Consequently, the young pedestrian was perfectly within his rights to cross the road where he did. He was not a jaywalker. He did not violate the law. He did nothing wrong. The driver of the car that crashed into the pedestrian is fully at fault for the collision and for the pedestrian’s injuries. The driver’s insurance company will be responsible to pay for the damages of the pedestrian, up to the limit of the driver’s insurance policy. The police officer who investigates the collision will have to decide whether to issue any type of traffic citation or criminal misdemeanor citation to the driver of the vehicle.

Furthermore, as a corollary, one should not presume that drivers on Utah roads have no duty to yield to jaywalkers. UCA §41-6a-1006 specifies that all drivers of vehicles, at all times, must “avoid colliding with a pedestrian.” This statute makes perfect sense. A pedestrian versus a vehicle is not a fair fight. Just because a person is jaywalking does not mean that a driver has no obligation to stop for, or avoid striking, the pedestrian. Because the risk of catastrophic injury and death to a pedestrian if hit by a moving vehicle is so great, the law imposes a duty on all drivers to watch for and avoid pedestrians, regardless of whether the pedestrian should be walking at that particular location or not. If, in the example above, the young pedestrian was not crossing at an unmarked crosswalk but was crossing the street at another location where there was no intersection with pedestrian walkways on both sides, he would have violated the law by jaywalking. And if the same vehicle in our example were to strike him at a location other than in a legal marked or unmarked crosswalk, then liability and fault for the collision likely would be shared by both the driver and the pedestrian. The driver would be at fault for failing to see and avoid a pedestrian, and the pedestrian would also be at fault for jaywalking—crossing the street outside of a legal crosswalk or other designated pedestrian pathway.

In sum, in Utah, the lack of a painted crosswalk or pedestrian markings at an intersection does not mean that no crosswalk exists. At any intersection, even if there is no marked or painted crosswalk, there is an unmarked crosswalk as a matter of law if, at the intersection, there is a pedestrian walkway on both sides of the intersection. As long as the pedestrian crosses approximately where a painted crosswalk would be placed if one were present at that intersection, the pedestrian is wholly within his rights to cross at the unmarked crosswalk. Drivers must always be on the lookout for a pedestrian, whether in an unmarked crosswalk, a marked crosswalk, or anywhere else on the road. If a pedestrian is in a legal, unmarked crosswalk, or other designated, legal crossing zone, a driver striking the pedestrian likely will be fully at fault for the collision.

 

The above article does not constitute legal advice to any person or for any case. It is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute or create any attorney-client relationship between the author and any reader of the article.

child abuse

WHEELS OF JUSTICE GAINING STEAM IN FIGHT AGAINST CHILD ABUSE 

By Michael I. Welker, Esq.

Wheels of Justice is a non-profit corporation, organized by a group of attorneys who are cycling enthusiasts, to raise money for, increase awareness of, and provide limited pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations that devote their time and passion to the prevention and reduction of child abuse, and assisting victims of abuse. Problems addressed by these institutions include child abuse, bullying, dysfunctional relationships, and internet safety threats. The organizations include: Prevent Child Abuse Utah, Friends of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center, Operation Underground Railroad, and The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition. Each of these organizations fights, prevents, and ameliorates the effects of child abuse. These organizations are very good at what they do. They need our support.

Wheels of Justice organizes and operates fundraising bicycle rides in support of these organizations. Participation is not limited to lawyers. Nor is participation limited to accomplished or competitive-level riders. Any cyclist at any level can participate in the rides. Different rides include street cycling, mountain biking, or off-road cycling.

Wheels of Justice’s biggest annual event is called the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” ride held each September. This difficult ride sends the riders up all 5 of Salt Lake County’s riding canyons (Little Cottonwood, Big Cottonwood, Millcreek, Emigration, and City Creek) in one day. Many participate-few finish. All have a great time, regardless of how much of the course they complete. The ride is meant as a metaphor, showing children and their families who have experienced abuse that they can overcome hard challenges, and that victims, whether they suffered personal injury or emotional and psychological injury, can overcome, survive, heal, and thrive.

Wheels of Justice not only collects financial donations, but also sells its team “kit” and other merchandise to raise funds. In conjunction with its events, Wheels of Justice also provides food, water bottles, and other items. Every event is fun for the whole family.

Wheels of Justice is growing. Membership is free and is open to all. Ride participation is free and is open to all. Running enthusiasts are starting to get involved with Wheels of Justice, and we soon may see running events added to the schedule of events. There is also talk about organizing a sister organization called “Wings of Justice” specifically for runners. One thing is for sure, Wheels of Justice will continue to fight the plague and effects of child abuse, and so will Gallian Welker & Beckstrom.

(The statements and views expressed herein are the views of Gallian Welker & Beckstrom. Gallian Welker & Beckstrom does not represent Wheels of Justice, and is not a spokesperson for Wheels of Justice. The views and statements expressed herein are solely the views of the author and are not necessarily the views of Wheels of Justice).

utah tax law

Utah State Legislature is Pushing for Tax on Services

UPDATE (3/8/2019): Yesterday the Governor and the Legislature announced that they were putting a hold on HB 441 to tax professional services so it could be studied further and receive more public input in the months to come. This is the right thing to do and to take a step back to engage in a healthy and open dialogue on the complex and very challenging issues raised in the proposed law.

We encourage all to maintain contact with your legislators as further decisions are made from now through the next special session. Here is the contact information:

Senate
Don Ipson dipson@le.utah.gov
Evan Vickers evickers@le.utah.gov

House
Travis Seegmiller tseegmiller@le.utah.gov
Bradley Last 435-817-0064
Lowry Snow vlsnow@le.utah.gov
Walt Brooks wbrooks@le.utah.gov

Here are stories on the developments:

https://kutv.com/news/local/lawmakers-plan-to-work-through-double-taxation-in-reform-bill-before-special-session

https://www.ksl.com/article/46505915/services-wont-be-taxed-at-local-level-under-latest-version-of-tax-reform-bil

Are you ready to pay TAX in Utah for SERVICES, in addition to sales tax? Currently the Utah legislature is fast-tracking a state tax reform bill that would add a tax on services and reduce sales tax and income tax. The change could result in a 3% service tax for all service providers, large or small. Teach piano? Coach or train? Are you an accountant, attorney or financial advisor? Website developer? All these service jobs would be required to pay a service tax under House Bill 441.

One major concern is that consumers will go out of state for services, and Utah businesses will lose clients and business because of the loss in competitive pricing. Another concern is that small businesses will be losing 3% of their income instead of passing it on to the customer.

How the bill has been presented is a significant concern. It was negotiated in closed-door committee and brought to the floor with only 3 weeks left in the general session. This is not adequate time for the public to become informative, voice their opinion, and properly debate the issues.

You may contact Matt Ekins at Gallian Welker & Beckstrom with questions on HB441. Also, it is urgent you contact your local representative and voice your opinion:

Senate

Don Ipson  dipson@le.utah.gov

Evan Vickers  evickers@le.utah.gov


House

Travis Seegmiller   tseegmiller@le.utah.gov

Bradley Last    435-817-0064

Lowry Snow    vlsnow@le.utah.gov

Walt Brooks  wbrooks@le.utah.gov

For more information on HB 441 you can look at these stories:

https://kutv.com/news/local/businesses-vent-but-big-utah-tax-bill-sails-through-committee

https://www.ksl.com/article/46499830/utah-state-sales-tax-rate-drops-to-31-in-tax-reform-proposal

tostadas

Black Bean Tostadas

Chances are, if you’re from southern Utah, you’ve had tostadas at least once in your life. The problem with tostadas a lot of times is that they’re prepared by frying them in a ton of oil, which isn’t too good for the waistline. These tostadas are baked rather than fried, so you can enjoy eating them without the guilt!

This recipe comes from one of our own here at Gallian Welker & Beckstrom. And everyone who has tried it loves it! These tostadas are delicious, light, and healthy, and perfect for those spring and summer months coming up. Enjoy!

tostadas

Ingredients:
6 corn tortillas
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup shredded cheese (we use Mexican blend)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 avocado, diced
1 small bag frozen corn, cooked
2 green onions, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Cilantro, chopped
Lime juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lay out tortillas onto a baking sheet. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the olive oil.
3. Mix black beans with chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Top tortillas evenly with the bean mixture.
4. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the tortillas and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. While the tostadas are cooking, prepare the topping. Combine the avocado, corn, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice together. When tostadas are done cooking, top each with a couple spoonfuls of the avocado mixture and enjoy!

creme brûlée

Creme Brûlée for Dummies

And by dummies, we mean monkeys. Seriously, this creme brûlée is so easy, even we can make it! And the best part is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment (like a blow torch). Lacey over at A Sweet Pea Chef is the author of this recipe for Easy Creme Brûlée. We tested it out ourselves, and not only is it easy, but it’s creamy and decadent, just as you would expect a creme brûlée to be. Thanks, Lacey, for making our dreams of becoming a professional chef come true!

EASY CRÈME BRÛLÉE

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins 
Servings: 4
Calories: 566 kcal
Author: A Sweet Pea Chef

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more to sprinkle for topping
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: fresh berries or mint for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add cream and vanilla and gently stir to combine, taking care not to mix quickly so as not to introduce extra bubbles. Place un-filled ramekins in a baking or casserole dish and fill baking dish with hot water until about half-way up sides of ramekins. Pour egg mixture into ramekins.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 10 minutes after 35-40 minutes. When done, a knife inserted into the center of the egg mixture should come out mostly clean.
  4. Remove from baking dish (I use a spatula) and lay onto clean dish towel to dry, set and cool. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Set oven to low broiler setting.
  6. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of granulated sugar over the top of the cooked custard. Completely, but lightly, cover the custard with the sugar. Place the ramekins back into the baking dish and surround by ice and cold water until the water almost reaches halfway up the sides (don’t fill too high with water, as the ice will melt and add to the volume of water).
  7. Place baking dish with ramekins under broiler (or use crème brûlée torch, if you’d prefer) for 3-5 minutes, or until the sugar has melted and creates a golden brown, caramelized crust.
  8. Garnish with berries and/or some fresh mint leaves.