Did you know there is an imaginary line across most roads? Some lines have paint near them to help you see where to walk. Others have nothing – just an line from where the sidewalk ends to where it picks up again (or where it should pick up again) on the other side. It’s true, check out the law.
Unmarked Crosswalk Section 340.01(10) Wis. Stats.:
(b) Unmarked crosswalk. In the absence of signs, lines or markings, that part of a roadway, at an intersection, which is included within the transverse lines which would be formed on such roadway by connecting the corresponding lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of such roadway or, in the absence of a corresponding sidewalk on one side of the roadway, that part of such roadway which is included within the extension of the lateral lines of the
existing sidewalk across such roadway at right angles to the center line thereof, except in no case does an unmarked crosswalk include any part of the intersection and in no case is there an unmarked crosswalk across a street at an intersection of such street with an alley.
Crossing at a place other than a crosswalk Section 346.25 Wis. Stats.:
Every pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
It’s summertime and we have visitors from most every other state. Just last week we saw a car with a Rhode Island license plate. My wife actually saw a vehicle with an Alaska plate not too long ago. Anyway, please make yourself familiar with our pedestrian laws. It is important to yield to pedestrians. It only takes a few seconds – it won’t make you late. A little courtesy will make someone else’s day!
I’ve said that phrase a bazillion times the past few years. Those with small boys will understand. As a personal injury attorney maybe I’m a little (actually a lot) more worried about car versus pedestrian accidents. I’ve handled a great number of cases where people walked across the street at the cross walk and not at the cross walk. In short, always cross at the cross walk, even if it means walking a few hundred feet out of your way.
The reason I mention this is a blog post that Attorney Michael Pines of California wrote. California has a new program called the “Safe Routes to School Program.” It’s a good idea. I don’t know of anything like it in Wisconsin.
In short Attorney Pines describes it as:
What the program intends to do is to create specific, easily accessible routes for children to walk to school with reduced dangers and hazards. The routes include smaller traffic flow, safety barriers between pedestrians and traffic, lower speed limits in these zones, and in some areas, the restriction of auto traffic altogether.
I don’t know what the cost of the program would be. But, in theory it sounds like a good idea. Maybe some generous foundation could fund this?
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Fond du lac, West Bend, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.
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Car versus Pedestrian. This is not a battle anyone wants to be a party to especially if you are the pedestrian. So, what is the law in Wisconsin about pedestrians and right of way? Just so you know, if you are walking in a cross walk or with the “green little person” you have the right of way. Yes, drivers that means that you have to slow down (it isn’t all bad you’ll save on gas).
Wisconsin’s Jury Instructions state:
The Wisconsin statutes define “right of way” as the privilege of the immediate use of the roadway and, further provide, that at an intersection or crosswalk where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or by a traffic officer, the operator of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing or who has started to cross the highway on a green or “Walk” signal and in all other cases pedestrians shall yield the right of way to vehicles lawfully proceeding directly ahead on a green signal.
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wauwatosa, Green Bay, Ozaukee and Milwaukee.