Man, woman hit in Madison crosswalk; highlights need for yield awareness

A 51-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man were critically injured Thursday night, when a car hit them as they walked across Monroe St., just outside the University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum.

Police have reported that the driver, 67, did not appear to be speeding. Alcohol and drug use is not suspected and the motorist was not using her phone at the time of the crash.

No citations have been issued, although the report says the two victims were walking in the crosswalk when they were hit. Wisconsin State Law requires that motorists yield to pedestrians in crosswalks at intersections that are not controlled by traffic signals.

The law also states that pedestrians must not “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or ride into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is difficult for the operator of the vehicle to yield.”

We are checking for additional details to help determine whether either the motorist or the walkers violated the state law.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed continues to work to make motorists aware of the requirement to yield to pedestrians and to improve compliance and safety, through the Share and Be Aware Program,. The work is ongoing and needed.

Through Thursday, 51 people were killed by vehicles while walking in the state this year. That exceeds the total from 2014, when 42 people were killed. In the past five years, 232 people have been killed while walking, an average of 46 deaths per year.

Jessica Binder, the Wisconsin Bike Fed Programs Manager explains more in this video.

4 thoughts on “Man, woman hit in Madison crosswalk; highlights need for yield awareness

  1. Unfortunately, this is the biggest fear by far my wife has when I ride on the roads around our town. Be aware of your surroundings and never let your guard up.

    John S

  2. You can just mow people down and not even get a ticket. It is sad that the burden is on the pedestrian to prove somehow that they did not ‘suddenly leave a curb’.

  3. I wish they had emphasized the “The law also states that pedestrians must not “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or ride into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is difficult for the operator of the vehicle to yield.” part of the law as well. I’ve had people step into a crosswalk when I was less than 50 feet from it and expect me to yield to them, then yell “The pedestrian has the right of way!” Yes, you do…but you must be safe about it. However I won’t be sharing the video *because* they did not emphasize that. Education, education, education, all the way around!

    • Drivers failing to yield to pedestrians crossing legally in crosswalks killed about a dozen people in Wisconsin every year, according to an analysis of the crashes. The fact that you’re driving a vehicle that has the potential to kill carries some extra responsibility, don’t you think?

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