Crosswalks, Driveways and Bicycles
Charlie asked: If a person on a bicycle is cycling on a sidewalk and there are pedestrian crosswalk lights, isn’t he/she obligated to obey the crosswalk lights? However, if he/she didn’t AND a vehicle is pulling out of a parking garage and pulls forward to the point that they are stopped on the sidewalk and the bicyclist crashes into the car, who do you feel is at fault?
There are two parts to your question, and there are two statutes that apply.
Anyone riding a bicycle on the sidewalk has all the rights and duties of a pedestrian. In this case, it means cyclists on the sidewalk must obey all pedestrian signal devices.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(10) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Drivers entering a roadway from a driveway are required to stop before the sidewalk and insure there are no conflicts with pedestrians or other vehicles, in this case, the bicyclist.
s. 316.125 – Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway or emerging from alley, driveway or building.
(2) The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across the alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon and shall yield to all vehicles and pedestrians which are so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.
To determine fault, it would be necessary to know a lot of other information, including:
- The location of the cyclist when the driver crossed into the sidewalk area.
- Whether the illegal crossing of the roadway in the crosswalk was related to the crash.
- The speed of the cyclist.
- Whether the cyclist was so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.