I believe the title of my post, though lengthy, sums up the proposed effects of HB 234. Basically, if you’re a driver and you see a flashing crosswalk sign, as pictured above from the Federal Highway Administration site about those signs officially called “Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)”, you need to stop and let the pedestrian or bicyclist cross the road.
There’s also a provision of the bill that tells pedestrians and bicyclists to not push it unless they really intend to cross:
No pedestrian or bicycle rider shall manually activate or intentionally cause to be activated a rapid-flash beacon or similar device at a crosswalk unless such pedestrian or bicycle rider intends to cross such roadway.
So, I guess you would get a ticket if you pressed the button, watched the cars stop, and laughed maniacally as you walked away from those 15 or 30 seconds of inconveniencing people on a busy thoroughfare.
In all seriousness, I’m not sure how rampant of a problem balking at a crosswalk is, but it looks like this updating OCGA to codify that drivers do in fact need to stop at crosswalks with RRFBs when they’re activated and that people using RRFBs don’t activate them unless they really are going to cross.