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346.06 346.06 Meeting of vehicles. Operators of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction each operator shall give to the other at least one-half of the main traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible.
346.07 346.07 Overtaking and passing on the left. The following rules govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules stated in ss. 346.075 (2) and 346.08 to 346.11:
346.07(2) (2) The operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
346.07(3) (3) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the operator of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
346.07 History History: 1971 c. 208; 1985 a. 301 s. 4; 1991 a. 316; 1997 a. 32.
346.075 346.075 Overtaking and passing bicycles and motor buses.
346.075(1)(1) The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall exercise due care, leaving a safe distance, but in no case less than 3 feet clearance when passing the bicycle and shall maintain clearance until safely past the overtaken bicycle.
346.075(2) (2) Except as provided in s. 346.48, if the operator of a motor vehicle overtakes a motor bus which is stopped at an intersection on the right side of the roadway and is receiving or discharging passengers, the operator shall pass at a safe distance to the left of the motor bus and shall not turn to the right in front of the motor bus at that intersection.
346.075 History History: 1973 c. 182; 1977 c. 208; 1985 a. 301.
346.08 346.08 When overtaking and passing on the right permitted. The operator of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety and only if the operator can do so without driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway, and then only under the following conditions:
346.08(1) (1) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn; or
346.08(2) (2) Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width to enable 2 or more lines of vehicles lawfully to proceed, at the same time, in the direction in which the passing vehicle is proceeding; or
346.08(3) (3) Upon a one-way street or divided highway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width to enable 2 or more lines of vehicles lawfully to proceed in the same direction at the same time.
346.08 History History: 1991 a. 316.
346.09 346.09 Limitations on overtaking on left or driving on left side of roadway.
346.09(1) (1) Upon any roadway where traffic is permitted to move in both directions simultaneously, the operator of a vehicle shall not drive to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be done in safety. In no case when overtaking and passing on a roadway divided into 4 or more clearly indicated lanes shall the operator of a vehicle drive to the left of the pavement marking indicating allocation of lanes to vehicles moving in the opposite direction or, in the absence of such marking, to the left of the center of the roadway. In no case shall the operator of a vehicle drive in a lane when signs or signals indicate that such lane is allocated exclusively to vehicles moving in the opposite direction.
346.09(2) (2) Upon any roadway where traffic is permitted to move in both directions simultaneously, the operator of a vehicle shall not drive on the left side of the center of the roadway upon any part of a grade or upon a curve in the roadway where the operator's view is obstructed for such a distance as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction.
346.09(3) (3) The operator of a vehicle shall not drive on the left side of the center of a roadway on any portion thereof which has been designated a no-passing zone, either by signs or by a yellow unbroken line on the pavement on the right-hand side of and adjacent to the center line of the roadway, provided such signs or lines would be clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person.
346.09(4) (4) Other provisions of this section notwithstanding, the operator of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass on the left any other vehicle which, by means of signals as required by s. 346.34 (1), indicates its intention to make a left turn.
346.10 346.10 When passing at a railroad crossing, intersection, bridge, viaduct or tunnel prohibited.
346.10(1) (1) The operator of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction when approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any railroad crossing unless the roadway is of sufficient width for 2 or more lines of vehicles to lawfully proceed simultaneously in the direction in which such vehicle is proceeding or unless permitted or directed by a traffic officer to pass at such crossing.
346.10(2) (2) Subject to the exception stated in sub. (3), the operator of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction when approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection unless the roadway is marked or posted for 2 or more lines of vehicles moving simultaneously in the direction in which such vehicle is proceeding or unless permitted or directed by a traffic officer to pass at such intersection.
346.10(3) (3) Outside of a business or residence district, the restrictions which sub. (2) places upon passing at an intersection apply only if such intersection is designated in the direction of travel by a traffic control signal, stop sign, yield sign or sign that warns traffic of existing or potentially hazardous conditions on or adjacent to the roadway.
346.10(4) (4) The operator of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction when the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel unless the roadway is of sufficient width for 2 or more lines of vehicles to lawfully proceed simultaneously in the direction in which such vehicle is proceeding or unless permitted or directed by a traffic officer to so overtake and pass.
346.10 History History: 1989 a. 105; 1999 a. 80.
346.11 346.11 Passing or meeting frightened animal. Whenever a person riding, driving or leading an animal which is frightened gives a signal of distress to the operator of a motor vehicle by a raising of the hand or otherwise, the operator of the motor vehicle shall promptly stop the vehicle unless a movement forward is necessary to avoid an accident or injury and shall, upon request, stop all motive power until such animal is under control.
346.11 History History: 1991 a. 316.
346.12 346.12 Driving through safety zones prohibited. The operator of a vehicle shall not at any time drive through or over a safety zone when such safety zone is clearly indicated.
346.13 346.13 Driving on roadways laned for traffic. Whenever any roadway has been divided into 2 or more clearly indicated lanes, including those roadways divided into lanes by clearly indicated longitudinal joints, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent with this section, apply:
346.13(1) (1) The operator of a vehicle shall drive as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not deviate from the traffic lane in which the operator is driving without first ascertaining that such movement can be made with safety to other vehicles approaching from the rear.
346.13(2) (2) Upon a 2-way roadway which is divided into 3 lanes the operator of a vehicle shall not drive in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle where the roadway is clearly visible and such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for a left turn, or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is marked or posted to give notice of such allocation.
346.13(3) (3) Notwithstanding sub. (2), when lanes have been marked or posted for traffic moving in a particular direction or at designated speeds, the operator of a vehicle shall drive in the lane designated.
346.13 History History: 1991 a. 316.
346.13 Annotation In calculating the time required to safely execute deviation from traffic lane or turn at intersection driver must consider condition of highway. Thompson v. Howe, 77 Wis. 2d 441, 253 N.W.2d 59 (1977).
346.14 346.14 Distance between vehicles.
346.14(1) (1) The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.
346.14(2) (2)
346.14(2)(a)(a) Upon a highway outside a business or residence district, the operator of any motor truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds or of any motor vehicle which is drawing or towing another vehicle where the combined gross weight is more than 10,000 pounds shall do all of the following:
346.14(2)(a)1. 1. Keep the vehicle he or she is operating at a distance of not less than 500 feet to the rear of any vehicle immediately preceding it, being driven in the same direction.
346.14(2)(a)2. 2. Leave sufficient space so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy such space without danger.
346.14(2)(b) (b) This subsection does not apply upon any lane especially designated for use by motor trucks or by truck tractor-semitrailer or tractor-trailer units nor does it apply when overtaking and passing another vehicle, but the fact that the operator of any vehicle or combination of vehicles mentioned in this subsection follows the preceding vehicle more closely than 500 feet for one mile or more or follows more closely than 500 feet when the preceding vehicle is moving at the maximum speed then and there permissible for such following vehicle is prima facie evidence that the operator of such following vehicle is violating this subsection.
346.14 History History: 1987 a. 27; 1989 a. 105.
346.14 Annotation Sub. (1) not only imposes a duty upon a tailgating driver to the driver of the preceding vehicle, but to all other cars and persons who are causally affected by the negligence of tailgating. Northland Insurance Co. v. Avis Rent-A-Car, 62 Wis. 2d 643, 215 N.W.2d 439 (1974).
346.14 Annotation This section does not impose an absolute liability upon drivers to avoid accidents. Millonig v. Bakken, 112 Wis. 2d 445, 334 N.W.2d 80 (1983).
346.15 346.15 Driving on divided highway. Whenever any highway has been divided into 2 roadways by an intervening unpaved or otherwise clearly indicated dividing space or by a physical barrier so constructed as to substantially impede crossing by vehicular traffic, the operator of a vehicle shall drive only to the right of such space or barrier and no operator of a vehicle shall drive over, across or within any such space or barrier except through an opening or at a crossover or intersection established by the authority in charge of the maintenance of the highway, except that the operator of a vehicle when making a left turn to or from a private driveway, alley or highway may drive across a paved dividing space or a physical barrier not so constructed as to impede crossing by vehicular traffic, unless such crossing is prohibited by signs erected by the authority in charge of the maintenance of the highway.
346.16 346.16 Use of controlled-access highways, expressways and freeways.
346.16(1)(1) No person shall drive a vehicle onto or from a controlled-access highway, expressway or freeway except through an opening provided for that purpose.
346.16(2) (2)
346.16(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), no pedestrian or person riding a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle and no person operating a moped or motor bicycle may go upon any expressway or freeway when official signs have been erected prohibiting such person from using the expressway or freeway.
346.16(2)(b) (b) A pedestrian or other person under par. (a) may go upon a portion of a hiking trail, cross-country ski trail, bridle trail or bicycle trail incorporated into the highway right-of-way and crossing the highway if the portion of the trail is constructed under s. 84.06 (11).
346.16 History History: 1983 a. 243; 1987 a. 98.
346.16 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See s. 59.84 (2) (j) for additional restrictions on the use of expressways in Milwaukee County.
346.17 346.17 Penalty for violating sections 346.04 to 346.16.
346.17(1)(1) Except as provided in sub. (5), any person violating s. 346.04 (1) or (2), 346.06, 346.12 or 346.13 (1) or (3) may be required to forfeit not less than $20 nor more than $40 for the first offense and not less than $50 nor more than $100 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
346.17(2) (2) Any person violating ss. 346.05, 346.07 (2) or (3), 346.08, 346.09, 346.10 (2) to (4), 346.11, 346.13 (2) or 346.14 to 346.16 may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300.
346.17(2m) (2m) Any person violating s. 346.10 (1) shall forfeit not less than $60 nor more than $600.
346.17(3) (3)
346.17(3)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (b), (c) or (d), any person violating s. 346.04 (3) shall be fined not less than $600 nor more than $10,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years.
346.17(3)(b) (b) If the violation results in bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (4), to another, or causes damage to the property of another, as defined in s. 939.22 (28), the person shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years.
346.17(3)(c) (c) If the violation results in great bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (14), to another, the person shall be fined not less than $1,100 nor more than $10,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than 3 years.
346.17(3)(d) (d) If the violation results in the death of another, the person shall be fined not less than $1,100 nor more than $10,000 and may be imprisoned for not more than 7 years and 6 months.
346.17(4) (4) Any person violating s. 346.075 may be required to forfeit not less than $25 nor more than $200 for the first offense and not less than $50 nor more than $500 for the 2nd or subsequent violation within 4 years.
346.17(5) (5) If an operator of a vehicle violates s. 346.04 (1) or (2) where persons engaged in work in a highway maintenance or construction area or in a utility work area are at risk from traffic, any applicable minimum and maximum forfeiture specified in sub. (1) for the violation shall be doubled.
346.175 346.175 Vehicle owner's liability for fleeing a traffic officer.
346.175(1)(1)
346.175(1)(a)(a) Subject to s. 346.01 (2), the owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.04 (3) for fleeing a traffic officer shall be presumed liable for the violation as provided in this section.
346.175(1)(b) (b) Notwithstanding par. (a), no owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.04 (3) for fleeing a traffic officer may be convicted under this section if the person operating the vehicle or having the vehicle under his or her control at the time of the violation has been convicted for the violation under this section or under s. 346.04 (3).
346.175(2) (2) A traffic officer may proceed under sub. (3) instead of pursuing the operator of a motor vehicle who flees after being given a visual or audible signal by the officer or marked police vehicle.
346.175(3) (3)
346.175(3)(a)(a) Within 72 hours after observing the violation, the traffic officer shall investigate the violation and may prepare a uniform traffic citation under s. 345.11 for the violation and, within 96 hours after observing the violation, any traffic officer employed by the authority issuing the citation may personally serve it upon the owner of the vehicle.
346.175(3)(b) (b) If with reasonable diligence the owner cannot be served under par. (a), service may be made by leaving a copy of the citation at the owner's usual place of abode within this state in the presence of a competent member of the family at least 14 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof. Service under this paragraph may be made by any traffic officer employed by the authority issuing the citation and shall be performed within 96 hours after the violation was observed.
346.175(3)(c) (c) If with reasonable diligence the owner cannot be served under par. (a) or (b) or if the owner lives outside of the jurisdiction of the issuing authority, service may be made by certified mail addressed to the owner's last-known address. Service under this paragraph shall be performed by posting the certified mail within 96 hours after the violation was observed.
346.175(4) (4) Defenses to the imposition of liability under this section include:
346.175(4)(a) (a) That a report that the vehicle was stolen was given to a traffic officer before the violation occurred or within a reasonable time after the violation occurred.
346.175(4)(b) (b) If the owner of the vehicle provides a traffic officer employed by the authority issuing the citation with the name and address of the person operating the vehicle or having the vehicle under his or her control at the time of the violation and sufficient information for the officer to determine that probable cause does not exist to believe that the owner of the vehicle was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation, then the owner of the vehicle shall not be liable under this section or under s. 346.04 (3).
346.175(4)(c) (c) If the vehicle is owned by a lessor of vehicles and at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the possession of a lessee, and the lessor provides a traffic officer employed by the authority issuing the citation with the information required under s. 343.46 (3), then the lessee and not the lessor shall be liable under this section or under s. 346.04 (3).
346.175(4)(d) (d) If the vehicle is owned by a dealer, as defined in s. 340.01 (11) (intro.) but including the persons specified in s. 340.01 (11) (a) to (d), and at the time of the violation the vehicle was being operated by or was under the control of any person on a trial run, and if the dealer provides a traffic officer employed by the authority issuing the citation with the name, address and operator's license number of the person operating the vehicle, then that person, and not the dealer, shall be liable under this section or under s. 346.04 (3).
346.175(5) (5) Notwithstanding the penalty otherwise specified under s. 346.17 (3) for a violation of s. 346.04 (3):
346.175(5)(a) (a) A vehicle owner or other person found liable under this section for a violation of s. 346.04 (3) shall be required to forfeit not less than $300 nor more than $1,000.
346.175(5)(b) (b) Imposition of liability under this section shall not result in suspension or revocation of a person's operating license under s. 343.30 or 343.31, nor shall it result in demerit points being recorded on a person's driving record under s. 343.32 (2) (a).
346.175 History History: 1993 a. 189; 1997 a. 27.
346.177 346.177 Railroad crossing improvement assessment for vehicles illegally passing at railroad crossings.
346.177(1)(1) Whenever a court imposes a forfeiture under s. 346.17 (2m) for a violation of s. 346.10 (1), the court shall also impose a railroad crossing improvement assessment equal to 50% of the amount of the forfeiture.
346.177(2) (2) If a forfeiture is suspended in whole or in part, the railroad crossing improvement assessment shall be reduced in proportion to the suspension.
346.177(3) (3) If any deposit is made for an offense to which this section applies, the person making the deposit shall also deposit a sufficient amount to include the railroad crossing improvement assessment under this section. If the deposit is forfeited, the amount of the railroad crossing improvement assessment shall be transmitted to the state treasurer under sub. (4). If the deposit is returned, the amount of the railroad crossing improvement assessment shall also be returned.
346.177(4) (4) The clerk of the circuit court shall collect and transmit to the county treasurer the railroad crossing improvement assessment as required under s. 59.40 (2) (m). The county treasurer shall then pay the state treasurer as provided in s. 59.25 (3) (f) 2. The state treasurer shall deposit all amounts received under this subsection in the transportation fund to be appropriated under s. 20.395 (2) (gj).
346.177 History History: 1997 a. 237.
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This is an archival version of the Wis. Stats. database for 1999. See Are the Statutes on this Website Official?