SHARE the Road
According to AAA.com, Memorial Day is when the 100 deadliest days of the year begin for drivers - and increasingly pedestrians and bicyclists. Sharing the road is the responsibility of all users! The number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States (U.S.) increased 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, while at the same time, total traffic deaths increased by about six (6) percent. Estimates show the number of pedestrians killed in 2016 increased by 11 percent compared with 2015.
Do you know how to walk safely on a road without sidewalks? Do you know Wisconsin has rules (statutes) regarding walking on the road? Let's start with the statutes and some definitions. Someone walking is considered a pedestrian and Wisconsin State Statutes define a pedestrian as:
- 340.01(43) "Pedestrian" means any person afoot or any person in a wheelchair, either manually or mechanically propelled, or other low-powered, mechanically propelled vehicle designed specifically for use by a physically disabled person, but does not include any person using an electric personal assistive mobility device.
And a vehicle as:
- 340.01(74) "Vehicle" means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except railroad trains. A snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle, and an electric personal assistive mobility device shall not be considered a vehicle except for purposes made specifically applicable by statute.
Put them together on a roadway and you have "traffic":
- 340.01(68) "Traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or herded or driven animals, vehicles and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using any highway for the purpose of travel.
Yes, pedestrians are traffic. Even though you are traffic you do not follow the same rules as the vehicles do. Pedestrians on roads without sidewalks are to walk on the left side of the road. The statue reads:
- 346.28: Pedestrians to walk on left side of highway; pedestrians, bicyclists, and riders of electric personal assistive mobility devices on sidewalks. (1) Any pedestrian traveling along and upon a highway other than upon a sidewalk shall travel on and along the left side of the highway and upon meeting a vehicle shall, if practicable, move to the extreme outer limit of the traveled portion of the highway.
To sum it up, as a pedestrian you have a right to use the road. When using the road you need to walk on the left and move over if there is other traffic coming toward you. These are the rules and following them can help keep you safe!