What Drivers and Walkers Should Know About Grand Rapids Pedestrian Ordinances


With an above average pedestrian-auto accident rate, the city of Grand Rapids is taking action. As of February 6, 2018, motorists are now required by law to come to a stop for pedestrians crossing a roadway in a crosswalk. West Michigan auto accident attorney, Tom Sinas, recently spoke Fox 17’s Know the Law to describe the various Grand Rapids pedestrian ordinances. Here’s what drivers and pedestrians alike should know.

Use Sidewalks When Available

First, pedestrians in Grand Rapids need to utilize city sidewalks when they’re available. Doing so decreases the risk of collision with a vehicle using the roadway. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Using the adjacent roadway is allowed when a sidewalk isn’t present or is unsuitable for walking. Pedestrians walking on the side of the road should always walk against traffic. This increases visibility to both fellow drivers and pedestrians alike.

Using Crosswalks and Intersections

If a pedestrian needs to cross the road, the safest place to do so is at an intersection or within a pedestrian crosswalk. Most pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents occur mid-block. When crossing the road, remember to look both ways and proceed with caution and when your route is free to proceed.

grand-rapids-michiganGrand Rapids Pedestrian Ordinances Require Cars to Stop

As mentioned, city ordinances changed earlier this year. Under new laws, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians crossing the road within a crosswalk. Before, they were only required to yield. Furthermore, other motorists are not allowed to pass automobiles who have stopped for pedestrians. Watch for pedestrian crosswalk stop signs, as they continue to pop up all over the city. Be vigilant and alert at all times, you just might save a life.

Pedestrian and Motor Vehicle Collisions – Changes to No-Fault Law

Whether due to Halloween and people out on the streets or the drastically decreasing daylight hours, October has the highest rate of pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions than any other month. In part a safety reminder to the public, Tom Sinas also discussed the changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault law and how those changes impact pedestrian collisions on Fox 17 “Know the Law.” For injured pedestrians who have their own auto insurance policy, not much has changed in terms of where they get their benefits. If they are hit by a vehicle, they are entitled to auto no-fault benefits as a result of injuries sustained in that car accident. For those who do not have an auto insurance policy (or are not domiciled with a relative who has an auto insurance policy), they may still be entitled to no-fault benefits, but where they turn to for these benefits has changed due to the new law. Previously, pedestrians without auto insurance used to collect benefits from the insurer of the vehicle that struck them. This process is no longer the case. Pedestrians without insurance must now apply for benefits in a new and more complicated way, including claims through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.

If you’ve been injured as the result of a collision with a motor vehicle, call to speak with a personal injury attorney at Sinas Dramis Law Firm at (517) 394-7500. We will work diligently to obtain the compensation your case deserves