Walking and Biking Safety

Pedestrian Safety and Laws.

  • Walk on the side of the road as far to the left as possible or on a paved shoulder AGAINST oncoming traffic where there are no sidewalks.
  • Cross the street at an intersection or designated CROSSWALK when possible and always stop, look left, right, and left again before crossing. Do not rely solely on pedestrian traffic signals.
  • Crosswalk Law and Yield in Michigan
    • Vehicles must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within a crosswalk that are in the same half of the roadway as the vehicle or when a pedestrian is approaching closely enough from the opposite side of the roadway to be in danger. Pedestrians may not suddenly leave the curb and enter a crosswalk into the path of a moving vehicle that is so close the vehicle is unable to yield. Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles when crossing outside of a marked crosswalk at an intersection.
  • Come to the edge of a parked vehicle, stop and look both ways if it's blocking the view of the street before entering the street. This is also recommended before crossing in front of a stopped vehicle at an intersection if there are additional lanes traveling in the same direction.
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and do not assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Be vigilant in parking lots, especially when accompanying small children.
  • Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing light-colored or reflective clothing that highlights body movements.
  • Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight and wearing retro-reflective clothing.
  • Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road or sidewalk.

(CDC.gov, pedbikeinfo.org)

Bicycling Laws and Good Sense.

  • Bicyclist have to obey the same traffic laws as a motorist.
  • Bicyclist have to signal their turns.
    • "For a left turn... shall extend ... left hand and arm horizontally."
    • "For a right turn...shall extend ... left hand and arm upward or shall extend ... right hand and arm horizontally."
    • "To Stop or decrease speed... shall extend ... left hand and arm downward."
  • Bicyclist have to ride in the same direction as traffic.
    • Since a bicyclist has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle
  • A bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
  • If the road the bicyclist is on has no minimum speed limit, then they are traffic, and therefore cannot impede traffic simply because of their speed or the fact that they are riding a bicycle.
  • It is not legal to ride between lanes of traffic.
  • The State of Michigan DOES NOT require bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk, and does not recommend it because of safety hazards to the bicyclist and other sidewalk users.
  • Anyone operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or a pedestrian crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
  • The State of Michigan does not require bicyclists to use bike lanes or paths, even if present.
  • Bicyclists may ride two abreast on the road keeping to the right.
  • It is illegal to ride on a limited-access highway.
  • The State of Michigan does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, but STRONGLY RECOMMENDS wearing one, as it can prevent a vast majority of brain injuries.
  • A bicycle...being operated on a roadway between 1⁄2 hour after sunset and 1⁄2 hour before sunrise shall be equipped with a white light on the front of the bike, and a red reflector in the rear. The League of Michigan Bicyclists strongly recommends using a rear red light when bicycling in the dark.
  • The law requires brakes on bicycles.
  • Motorists that park or drive in a bike lane are guilty of a misdemeanor
  • It is illegal to grab onto another vehicle to "hitch" a ride, and extremely unsafe.
  • Always wear bright and or reflective clothing especially at night.
  • Be predictable and consistent. 
  • Avoid distractions such as electronic devices that take your attention off the road or path.

(LMB.org)

 

Other Helpful and Information:

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

The League of Michigan Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists

Pedestrian Traffic Safety

Bicycling Traffic Safety