Is It Legal to Straddle a Pedestrian Crosswalk in Michigan?
Davison, Grand Blanc, Clio aren't the most pedestrian-friendly cities. For that matter, many of Michigan's oldest cities haven't become walking/biking friendly unless they've recently had upgrades.
There's nothing quite like trying to walk or ride your bike along a sidewalk to find it ends abruptly or runs directly into construction without a detour. You improvise accordingly. Sometimes that means jay walking or crossing traffic with your bicycle, on foot... hoping for the best because there isn't a crosswalk nearby.
What are the laws around crosswalks in Michigan?
In a perfect scenario, the crosswalk is where you... er, cross the street, safely. 183 pedestrians were killed in Michigan last year. Drivers are pretty distracted these days.
So, what are the laws that protect pedestrians from distracted driving? Or drivers that love to block a crosswalk or sidewalk? Here's what Michigan Law states:
• Stop before entering the marked crosswalk limit line.
• Stop before entering the intersection if there is no crosswalk or limit line.
• Obey traffic signals, signs, and markings.
• Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, intersections, and all traffic-controlled areas.
• Obey the posted speed limit.
Are Bike Riders Pedestrians in MI?
• Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing who cannot be seen.
• Avoid distractions.
• Stay alert and take extra caution at intersections, especially when making turns.
• Make eye contact with pedestrians waiting to cross roadways.
• Be extremely careful when backing up, checking for pedestrians who may move into the path of the vehicle.
What's the fine if you're stopped on a crosswalk?
This could vary by county. Courts set the infraction schedule. I spoke with Grand Blanc Police Department to get an idea... in Genesee County it's around a $25 fine. They treat it like a parking ticket.
Pay attention to your surroundings if you're on foot, a bike or driving. If you hit or kill someone -- you'll pay for that in lawsuits or maybe jail.