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Old 10-29-08, 07:21 AM   #1
thdave
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Is it Legal to Bike Through a Crosswalk?

My son and his friend got hit on their bikes yesterday while crossing a street. They had the green "walk" sign and went through. The driver of the car had a red light and had stopped, but then went right on red and hit the kids, at low speeds. Kids are fine, thank God, but three of the four bike wheels are bent. The kids took the phone number of the driver, who admitted fault, but then left.

They called me and I came right up and then called the police. I wanted the damage documented, since she left the scene without sharing insurance info. The police came and told me that it was the kid's fault--that at crosswalks they must walk their bikes.

This doesn't appear to be a problem, since we called the driver and she's expressed regret and told us to send her the bill to repair the bikes. But, the bigger issue is this stupid law!!!
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Old 10-29-08, 07:24 AM   #2
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I don't know but I had a driver tell me to use the crosswalk (the closest one being about a mile away) the other day......

Gotta love that, however. Kids got run over in the crosswalk? Their fault - stupid kids. Nice.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:32 AM   #3
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The police officer may not actually know what he is talking about. Most seem to be very ignorant of Bike/ped laws. I would check and also ask about the driver leaving the scene of the accident. Especially where kids were involved.
I'm glad none of the kids were physically injured.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:35 AM   #4
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Actually it's not a stupid law. Did your kids stop and look to be sure that the right turning motorist saw them before they entered the crosswalk, or did they come flying off the curb so quickly that the motorist never got a chance to see them?
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Old 10-29-08, 07:36 AM   #5
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Well, seeing as how Ohio says that a crosswalk is for pedestrians (ORC 4511.01) and as how bicyclists aren't pedestrians (id.), it seems that they shouldn't have been crossing in the crosswalk.

Now, whether that actually would put the kids "at fault," in an accident as described is another matter altogether. I don't know what an Ohio court would say in terms of that. It's likely that in a criminal case, the driver would get off, but that in a civil negligence case, he / she would be liable for damages (very probably reduced because of the kids' actions).

Of course, I can't say for sure on any of these points, as I'm not about to do the research necessary on Ohio court cases, but going with what I remember from the Multistate Bar exam, that should be close to right.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:36 AM   #6
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I believe crosswalks in Ohio are viewed the same as sidewalks for pedestrian right of way. That means technically they need to be walking their bikes. It really depends on the municipality. I live in Columbus, and about half of my biking is in one of the suburbs. I spoke to a cop saturday at a "safety fair" to confirm my understanding of the muni laws, and he said technically it is illegal to bike on the sidewalk, but it is almost never enforced. Further, on the road I commute on in the AM, they encourage me to take the sidewalk (so long as I am safe around pedestrians) because people drive much faster than they should as it is a non-residential area. The muni patrols their part of it, but Columbus PD almost never does their part. The muni doesn't spend as much time on it as they should, either, because they have a speed change right by their station that is right near the retail district and they patrol that heavily.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:39 AM   #7
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I suspect the cop's point is that the crosswalk is for the use of pedestrians, and a cyclist is not a pedestrian. Whether that's supported by local ordinances is something you should investigate. I'm not sure, though, what resolution you want from this. It may indeed be the case in your area that cyclists are not supposed to use "pedestrian space", which would include sidewalks and crosswalks. If that law or ordnance is in effect in your area, there's quite likely a good reason for it (for pedestrian protection), and I wouldn't suggest trying to get "this stupid law" changed.

The driver is willing to pay for the damage, and indeed the kids' riding the bikes (as opposed to walking them) could have been a factor in the accident -- because of their speed of motion, they may have moved into the crosswalk faster and been struck when a pedestrian would not have been. Collect the money to pay for the repairs, and instruct the kids that if they will ride on sidewalks and use crosswalks to cross streets, they must be prepared to behave as pedestrians.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:40 AM   #8
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The cops stated the law. Myself I ride empty crosswalks at intersections.
I was a nano second of having both legs destroyed by a red light runner.
Nothing happened, but if it did, I believe litigation would be in my favor.
If I got hit and messed up, the severe burden would have been on me.
Some one driving a beater couldn't afford the medical costs alone,
never mind pain and suffering.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:50 AM   #9
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Heck, I got hit in the crosswalk in front of work the other day while WALKING. The dude was crawling but not paying attention - I could have dove onto the median but instead dove onto the guy's hood. He was yelling about me denting his hood and how he was going to call the cops. I said "well, I was gonna let it go, but if you want to call the cops on yourself (I was WALKING in the friggin' CROSSWALK) go ahead". He said "f-you, I'll kick your *****" and I said "bring it on" and he got in his car and left.

What this has to do with anything I have no idea.........
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Old 10-29-08, 07:56 AM   #10
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Bet the kids were going the wrong way too.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:19 AM   #11
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Even different towns can have different laws. Most are on line now. It depends on your local laws.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:20 AM   #12
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Bet the kids were going the wrong way too.
Crap. Is there a wrong way in a crosswalk?
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Old 10-29-08, 08:25 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=thdave;7753353]My son and his friend got hit on their bikes yesterday while crossing a street. They had the green "walk" sign and went through. The driver of the car had a red light and had stopped, but then went right on red and hit the kids, at low speeds. QUOTE]

Right Turns on Red Lights are Only Legal when The Roadway and Crosswalks are Totally Clear.
The driver is at fault.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:26 AM   #14
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If they were riding in the street and moved to the crosswalk to cross the intersection, IMHO they should have dismounted and walked.

OTOH, if they were on the sidewalk with their bikes, they should have been walking the entire time, unless they're small children (say, less than 10 or 12 or so). Or, at the very least, have crossed the crosswalk at WALKING speeds. Crossing in crosswalks at higher than pedestrian speeds is a huge source of accidents; drivers do not expect people in the crosswalk to be going over 5 MPH or so, so they look and there's nothing within about 10 feet of them, they check the other way, then go. But in that time a bicycle can get from 30 feet away to in front of them.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:31 AM   #15
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Bet the kids were going the wrong way too.
Up? Down? Sideways?

I've never seen a unidirectional crosswalk before. I'm assuming you're one of the people ranting about wrong-way cyclists. The thing is... if you've taken to the sidewalk, you have prettymuch left the rules of the road behind. There is no "right way" on the sidewalk. Although you're also not a pedestrian either and shouldn't expect to gain protection under those laws.

My primary concern is that an adult hit a child on a bike, regardless of the circumstances, and felt that leaving the scene was the right thing to do.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:42 AM   #16
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And the cops thought that was OK.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:47 AM   #17
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I live in Oregon and the law is very clear. You must WALK your bike in a crosswalk (hence the name). We have had several people killed for doing the thing where they ride their bikes down the sidewalk rather fast and fly into the crosswalk as people are in the process of turning.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:49 AM   #18
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This is the problem with cyclists riding on sidewalks and along crosswalks. Yes, the officer is correct that cyclists using crosswalks to cross streets should dismount and walk their bikes. That's a correct interpretation of the law.

HOWEVER as has been previously stated the motorist did have a legal requirement of due care to be sure that the road was clear in front of her before she executed her right turn.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:50 AM   #19
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FYI, the kids, both age 15, were stopped on the sidewalk waiting for the light to change. Then they went. The cager stopped for red, then went to turn right on red and hit the kids immediately. Both the kids and the driver were going about 2 mph.

I'm with 10 Wheels--the driver can't go if the crosswalk is occupied by walkers, runners, or cyclists! Right on red still means you yeild. I don't get the cop--he's flat out wrong in my book.

The dumb thing about the law is that most don't walk their bike across a crosswalk, especially when they aren't busy, like this one. To criminalize that is wrong. More importantly, to suggest that requirement trumps the more serious turning right on red into an occupied crosswalk is absurd.

Last edited by thdave; 10-29-08 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:54 AM   #20
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I guess a woman running with a baby jogger stroller in a crosswalk would be illegal?
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Old 10-29-08, 09:10 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarich View Post
I live in Oregon and the law is very clear. You must WALK your bike in a crosswalk (hence the name). We have had several people killed for doing the thing where they ride their bikes down the sidewalk rather fast and fly into the crosswalk as people are in the process of turning.
A snippet from http://www.stc-law.com/crosswalks.html

While on the one hand Oregon law allows bicyclists to have the right-of-way in crosswalks like a pedestrian, the law also sets a speed limit for bicycle riders that conditions the right-of-way on proceeding no faster than a "walking speed". ORS 814.410


a snippet from http://www.leg.state.or.us/97reg/mea...b0149.int.html

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a
bicyclist on a sidewalk { + , multi-use path + ** or { - in
a - ** crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian
on a sidewalk { + , multi-use path + ** or { - in a - **
crosswalk.
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Old 10-29-08, 09:13 AM   #22
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Which backs up my idea that baby strollers and bikes should have
speedometers that freeze the mph on impact.
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Old 10-29-08, 09:14 AM   #23
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The dumb thing about the law is that most don't walk their bike across a crosswalk, especially when they aren't busy, like this one. To criminalize that is wrong. To suggest that requirement trumps the more serious turning right on red into an occupied crosswalk is absurd.

Are you suggesting that we shouldn't enforce laws that are widely ignored?

I don't know that anyone is suggesting that it's entirely the kids fault. The problem is, police (and insurance companies) are likely to use any excuse they can find to pick a side other than yours in cases like this.

This was just the excuse the cop needed to blow you off.
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Old 10-29-08, 09:21 AM   #24
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If it were legal, then wouldn't it be a crossride instead of a crosswalk?

In VA, crosswalks apply to pedestrians. You're a vehicle if you're riding a bicycle. Last I checked, I can't take my Jeep in crosswalks either

-R
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Old 10-29-08, 09:25 AM   #25
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I think most here are missing the point. The driver stopped on red, then proceeded top turn right on red even when the crosswalk was not clear for her to do so. Whether or not the kids in the crosswalk were riding their bikes or walking is moot at this point. Whether or not the driver saw the kids then made a mistake and proceeded through or she did not see the kids and proceeded through is unknown. It is illegal to turn right on red when it is NOT clear. The driver violated that traffic ordinance. It sounds like she admitted as much too. I also beleive it is illegal to leave teh scene of an accident, regardless of how minor.
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