California Motor Vehicle Code 21952
California vehicle code 21952 explains that any driver of a motor vehicle who intends to drive over a sidewalk must yield to the right-of-way of any nearby pedestrian.
For example, if a driver wants to exit his driveway, he must wait for the sidewalk to be clear of any pedestrians who may be crossing behind him.
This also applies to vehicles exiting parking lots or any other instance when a driver must cross a sidewalk path.
The best way to be prepared for approaching pedestrians is to make a complete stop before crossing or backing up over a side walk. Use rear-view and side mirrors to check spaces around the vehicle that are not easy to see. Check to the left, then right, then left again to be sure that both the sidewalk and the closest lane are clear of pedestrians, cars, or bicycles. Remember that pedestrians on sidewalks do not only approach from the left side as cars do. If parked cars or other objects obstruct a driver's vision of the sidewalk or road, approach very slowly so a quick stop can be made if necessary.
It is important for drivers to pay attentions to the actions of pedestrians, even if pedestrians are walking out of turn or in the street. The reason for this is that pedestrians are highway users the most at risk in traffic. Drivers in vehicles are protected by the vehicle itself, but pedestrians are vulnerable and with out any protection. Pedestrians are even vulnerable to the momentum of a bicycle collision, and can be badly injured. For these reasons, the law requires drivers and cyclists alike to exercise great care to avoid striking pedestrians.