Grand Rapids: Drivers now required by law to stop for pedestrians
Starting Tuesday, Feb. 6, drivers in Grand Rapids are now required by law to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.
The City Commission approved the ordinance that starts Tuesday -- it's in effort to reduce the city's higher-than-average pedestrian-involved crashes in 2018. The new ordinance is part of a larger initiative called "Vision Zero," which is intended to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.
The previous ordinance only required the drivers yield to the right of way instead of coming to a complete stop. The new ordinance states that drivers fully stop for pedestrians at both marked and unmarked crosswalks -- except at intersections where a police officer is controlling traffic or a traffic signal, pedestrians will have to wait for the "walk" signal before crossing.
Reported traffic crashes are increasing nationally, statewide and locally -- including nearly 21 percent increase in Grand Rapids between 2009 and 2016, according to the City Commission.
State data shows that Kent County reported 790 pedestrian-involved crashes between 2012 and 2015 -- the third highest among all Michigan counties. Among all pedestrian crashes between 2012 and 2015, 439 occurred in Grand Rapids -- or 56 percent of all crashes in the county. Additionally, 51.7 percent of pedestrian-involved crashes in the city during that span happened in or near an intersection.
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