Indeed. I actually got into an argument with a former acquaintance regarding this point. He claimed that pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, anywhere, anytime, in any circumstance. I then asked why people can be ticketed for jaywalking. I asked who has legal liability if the pedestrian willfully jumps in front of a car.
His inane response went along these lines: jaywalkers still have the right of way but are ticketed so as to discourage people from getting injured. The driver is always at fault because they have a duty to always look out for potential road hazards. Failure to keep an adequate lookout and safe speed means the driver is liable.
Obviously, CVC does NOT agree with his interpretation of the law.
Every time I visit SF I am surprised by how readily the pedestrians casually cross the streets--they will cross at red lights; they will walk into cross traffic without regard to safety, expecting drivers to stop; and if they do bother to look before crossing, they take their sweet time. If you tried to pull that shit in Southern CA, especially in downtown or west LA, you'd be dead by lunchtime. I also found that drivers in SF are a lot more cautious and less aggressive than LA drivers. LA drivers are scary, especially in the westside. The aggression levels there are insane: drivers cutting each other off, running red lights, not stopping at intersections, and squeezing through narrow openings are extremely common occurrences. I suspect it is a combination of the traffic and culture there: it's a lot of local streets, with almost no relief from constant traffic gridlock; then add in a culture that rewards self-entitlement and conspicuous consumption, and the result is a lot of people behind the wheel with death wishes.