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  1. #1
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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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!!!
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  2. #2
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
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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.

  4. #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?

  5. #5
    The Thing Itself
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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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Didn't make it Bat22's Avatar
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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.
    Ride like a teen machine

  9. #9
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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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.........

  10. #10
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    Bet the kids were going the wrong way too.

  11. #11
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Even different towns can have different laws. Most are on line now. It depends on your local laws.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    still commuting...... Brian T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMRobertson View Post
    Bet the kids were going the wrong way too.
    Crap. Is there a wrong way in a crosswalk?
    Quote Originally Posted by deathhare View Post
    I saw a guy riding without bars the other day. Cheapo MTB. He was riding holding onto the stem.
    Now that i think about, he couldnt have had any brakes working either.
    Nothing safer than no bars, no brakes on a freewheeled bike.

  13. #13
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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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.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  14. #14
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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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.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  15. #15
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMRobertson View Post
    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.

  16. #16
    Light Makes Right GV27's Avatar
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    And the cops thought that was OK.

  17. #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.

  18. #18
    META Severian's Avatar
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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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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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.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  20. #20
    Didn't make it Bat22's Avatar
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    I guess a woman running with a baby jogger stroller in a crosswalk would be illegal?
    Ride like a teen machine

  21. #21
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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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.

  22. #22
    Didn't make it Bat22's Avatar
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    Which backs up my idea that baby strollers and bikes should have
    speedometers that freeze the mph on impact.
    Ride like a teen machine

  23. #23
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thdave View Post
    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.

  24. #24
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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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

  25. #25
    Banned.
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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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