[ Triad Online Home ]                                                                                    November 25, 2005

Pedestrian crossing rights governed by state statutes

By Rob Schuette, Triad Staff

      Pedestrians and motorists using Fort McCoy streets should know that the installation follows Wisconsin state statutes for determining the rights and responsibilities of crossing roads or streets.

      Sgt. Domenic Modica, Fort McCoy traffic sergeant, said the Wisconsin statutes generally state that pedestrians have the right of way when crossing streets at controlled or marked crosswalks or intersections. The statutes also include bicyclists or riders of an electric personal assistive mobility device in the same category as pedestrians.

      A controlled intersection is one that is controlled by traffic lights or signs or by a traffic officer.

      Because Fort McCoy doesn't have any regularly controlled intersections, motorists and pedestrians at Fort McCoy should be familiar with the rules for marked and unmarked crosswalks, Modica said.

      Pedestrians have the right of way if they have started to cross at marked crosswalks or intersections and vehicles are not present, according to the statutes.

      Pedestrians should yield to vehicles at these intersections, he said. If they would have to make a sudden start into traffic to cross a road or by walking, running or riding in front of a vehicle they would cause the driver to make a sudden stop.

      "If there is a specific place, such as a crosswalk or intersection, to cross a road, we encourage all pedestrians to use it," Modica said. "Motorists and pedestrians should be aware we have a lot of transient military and civilian personnel here who may not know the rules, so they should exercise additional caution to accomplish safe crossings."

      Motorists also should note that when a vehicle has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the road, that other vehicles following to the rear may not pass that vehicle, he said.

      Another potential safety concern is the buses or other vehicles that transport transients to various locations on post. Modica said the unit personnel operating these vehicles may not be familiar with the installation and may park and allow personnel to get out at a place other than a crosswalk or intersection.

      The personnel then may step into traffic with the vehicle obstructing their visual presence from other motorists.

      These personnel often will cross streets directly after getting out of their vehicles and create potential safety hazards, Modica said.

      "People driving or walking on the installation need to remember that they are sharing the streets with personnel who may not be familiar with the streets or the rules," he said.

      Pedestrians who cross roads at any place other than a marked crosswalk or intersection must yield to all traffic, Modica said.

      Personnel who visit or live in the surrounding communities are reminded that at a controlled intersection, pedestrians have the right of way if they have started to cross on a walk or green signal, he said.

      For more information about crossing streets at McCoy, call Modica at (608) 388-2044. The state regulations concerning this subject can be found in the Wisconsin Statutes Subchapter IV Respective Rights and Duties of Drivers, Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Riders of Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices, Chapter 346 sections 23-25 or at the Web site http://www.legis.state.wi.us/Statutes/Stat0346.pdf.  

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