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Pedestrian right of way?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:54 PM


Yes, they do, Barbara, in certain circumstances.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said they certainly do at intersections with pedestrian traffic signals.

“According to the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, traffic shall yield to a pedestrian that is proceeding through a crosswalk on the ‘walk’ signal,” he said.

Hawke provided the appropriate state code:

Section 257.613

(2) If special pedestrian control signals are installed, they shall be placed at the far end of each crosswalk and shall indicate a “walk” or “don't walk” interval. These special signals shall apply to pedestrians only to the exclusion of a regular traffic control signal or signals which may be present at the same location, as follows:

(a) Walk interval — Pedestrians facing the signal may proceed across the highway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by the drivers of all vehicles.

(b) Don't walk (steady burning or flashing) interval — A pedestrian shall not start to cross the highway in the direction of the signals, but a pedestrian who has partially completed crossing on the walk interval of the signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or safety island while the don't walk interval of the signal is showing.

(3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

For intersections without traffic signals:

“Generally, if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk in advance of the vehicle, the driver should yield,” Hawke said. “The pedestrian should not leave the curb if traffic is present and should wait for traffic to clear.”

Here are the specifics from an excerpt of the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code for Cities and Villages:

R 28.1702 Rule 702. Pedestrians; right-of-way in crosswalk; violation as civil infraction.

(1) When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right -of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or

when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but a pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

(2) A person who violates this rule is responsible for a civil infraction.

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