Crosswalks and the law | News
From: Ada Township Online
Ada Township’s growing non-motorized trail system and the increasing attractiveness of Ada Village as a pedestrian destination have resulted in greater potential for conflicts between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Many drivers seem unaware of their responsibility to yield to pedestrians using designated crosswalks in the community. In particular, the striped crosswalk adjacent to Leonard Field Park at the intersection of Thornapple River Dr. and Fase St. is particularly daunting for pedestrians wishing to cross the street.
Sec. 257.612(1)(c)(ii) of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code states that:
“vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.”
This means that a driver who approaches a pedestrian crossing the street on a designated crosswalk is required by law to slow down and/or stop in order to allow the pedestrian to safely cross the street.
Drivers are urged to please use caution and courtesy when encountering pedestrians crossing our streets.
Pedestrians should also use caution and courtesy at crosswalks. Note that the Motor Vehicle Code also states that “a person... shall not block, obstruct, impede, or otherwise interfere with the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic upon a public street or highway in this state, by means of a barricade, object, or device, or with his or her person.”
Taken as a whole, these provisions call for mutual respect and regard for the other by pedestrians and drivers.
Pedestrians should observe the following practices to ensure their safety in crossing streets (Source: Michigan State Police):
- Use sidewalks whenever available.
- Obey traffic signals.
- Never cross mid-block.
- Cross streets at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks whenever possible.
- Always stop at the edge of a parked car, curb, or vehicle before walking out into traffic.
- Look left-right-left before crossing a street and continue looking while crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them.
- Never assume the vehicle driver can see you.
- Walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible when walking along the roadway.
- Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking at night or in the early morning.
- Never allow children under age 10 to cross the streets alone. Young children do not have the skills to accurately judge traffic risks.
- Allow for enough time to safely cross the street.