Friday, May 04, 2012

Wisconsin State Patrol Law of the Month: May 2012

Drivers must yield to pedestrians

Motor vehicles on average kill approximately 50 pedestrians and injure more than 1,300 each year in Wisconsin. To prevent these needless deaths and injuries, Wisconsin law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians:

§  Who have started crossing an intersection or crosswalk on a walk signal or on a green light if there’s no walk signal.

§  Who are crossing the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection where there are no traffic lights or control signals.

§  When a vehicle is crossing a sidewalk or entering an alley or driveway.In addition, drivers may not legally overtake and pass any vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians at an intersection or crosswalk.

Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are legally crossing roadways may be issued citations that cost approximately $175 to $232 (depending on the type of violation) along with four demerit points assessed on their license.  The cost of a fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians citation increases if it’s the second violation within one year. A citation for passing a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians costs $326 with three demerit points.

“To avoid hitting pedestrians, drivers must slow down and pay attention, so they can safely yield the right of way” said Lieutenant Tony Burrell of the Wisconsin State Patrol Northeast Region, Fond du Lac Post. “Drivers should be particularly alert in areas where children often cross roads, such as near schools, parks, playgrounds and residential neighborhoods. Pedestrians also must be cautious, and they should not suddenly move into the path of a vehicle that does not have sufficient time and distance to yield. While using their cell phones and other electronic devices, pedestrians should not become so distracted that they fail to pay attention to the traffic around them.”


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