The police power under this section need not be based on the condition of the roadbed, but may be exercised to promote the general welfare of the public. 66 Atty. Gen. 110.
Authority to impose special or seasonal weight limitations. 349.16(1)(1)
The officer in charge of maintenance in case of highways maintained by a town, city or village, the county highway commissioner or county highway committee in the case of highways maintained by the county and the department in the case of highways maintained by the state may:
Impose special weight limitations on any such highway or portion thereof which, because of weakness of the roadbed due to deterioration or climatic conditions or other special or temporary condition, would likely be seriously damaged or destroyed in the absence of such special limitations;
Impose special weight limitations on bridges or culverts when in its judgment such bridge or culvert cannot safely sustain the maximum weights permitted by statute;
Order the owner or operator of any vehicle being operated on a highway to suspend operation if in its judgment such vehicle is causing or likely to cause injury to such highway or is visibly injuring the permanence thereof or the public investment therein, except when s. 84.20
is applicable or when the vehicle is being operated pursuant to a contract which provides that the governmental unit will be reimbursed for any damage done to the highway. Traffic officers also may order suspension of operation under the circumstances and subject to the limitations stated in this paragraph.
Imposition of the special weight limitations authorized by sub. (1) (a)
shall be done by erecting signs on or along the highway on which it is desired to impose the limitation sufficient to give reasonable notice that a special weight limitation is in effect and the nature of that limitation. Imposition of the special weight limitations authorized by sub. (1) (b)
shall be done by erecting signs before each end of the bridge or culvert to which the weight limitation applies sufficient to give reasonable notice that a special weight limitation is in effect and the nature of that limitation. All weight limitation signs and their erection shall comply with the rules of the department and shall be standard throughout the state.
The authority in charge of the maintenance of the highway may exempt vehicles carrying certain commodities specified by the authority or which are used to perform certain services specified by the authority from the special weight limitations which are imposed under sub. (1) (a)
, or may set different weight limitations than those imposed under sub. (1) (a)
for vehicles carrying those commodities or which are used to perform those services, if such exemption or limitation is reasonable and necessary to promote the public health, safety and welfare. The authority in charge of the maintenance of the highway shall exempt from the special or seasonal weight limitations imposed under sub. (1) (a)
a vehicle that is used to transport material pumped from a septic or holding tank if, because of health concerns, material needs to be removed from a septic or holding tank within 24 hours after the vehicle owner or operator is notified and if the vehicle is operated for the purpose of emptying the septic or holding tank and disposing of its contents and is operated on a route that minimizes travel on highways subject to weight limitations imposed under sub. (1) (a)
. Within 72 hours after operating a vehicle that transported material pumped from a septic or holding tank and that exceeded special or seasonal weight limitations as authorized by this subsection, the owner or operator of the vehicle shall notify the authority in charge of maintenance of the highways over which the vehicle was operated.
Authority of cities, villages and towns to regulate heavy traffic. 349.17(1)(1)
Any city, village or town may by ordinance or resolution designate any street or highway under its jurisdiction as a heavy traffic route and designate the type and character of vehicles which may be operated thereon. A city, village or town may restrict or prohibit heavy traffic from using other streets or highways under its jurisdiction except that it may not place such restrictions on streets or highways over which are routed state trunk highways and may not prohibit heavy traffic from using a street or highway for the purpose of obtaining orders for supplies or moving or delivering supplies or commodities to or from any place of business or residence which has an entrance on such street or highway. Whenever a city, village or town designates any street or highway under its jurisdiction as a heavy traffic route, it shall cause appropriate signs to be erected giving notice thereof.
In this section, "heavy traffic" means all vehicles not operating completely on pneumatic tires and all vehicles or combination of vehicles, other than motor buses, designed or used for transporting property of any nature and having a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds.
History: 1977 c. 116
; 1993 a. 246
Legislative Council Note, 1977: Sub. (1) authorizes cities and villages to designate any street as a heavy traffic route. As defined in s. 340.01 (64), the term "street" means every highway within the corporate limits of a city or village except alleys. By adding "or highway" after "street", s. 349.17 (1) authorizes a city or village to prohibit heavy traffic from using any street or alley which has not been designated as a heavy traffic route unless such street or alley is being used to obtain orders for supplies or to deliver supplies or commodities to or from a place of business or residence with an entrance on such street or alley. "Highway" is defined in s. 340.01 (22), to mean "all public ways and thoroughfares", including alleys. [Bill 465-A]
Additional traffic-control authority of counties and municipalities. 349.18(1)(1)
Any city, village or town, by ordinance, may:
Designate the number of persons that may ride on a motor bicycle at any one time and the highways upon which a motor bicycle or moped may or may not be operated.
Establish a golf cart crossing point upon a highway within its limits. An ordinance enacted under this paragraph shall require that a golf cart stop and yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the highway before crossing the highway. The ordinance may require that a golf cart be equipped with reflective devices as specified in the ordinance. The city, village or town shall place a sign of a type approved by the department to mark the crossing point on both sides of the highway.
Regulate the operation of a golf cart to and from a golf course for a distance not to exceed one mile upon a highway under its exclusive jurisdiction. The city, village or town shall place a sign of a type approved by the department to mark any golf cart travel route designated by the ordinance.
Any city, town or village may by ordinance enacted pursuant to s. 349.06
regulate the operation of bicycles and motor bicycles and may by ordinance require registration of any bicycle or motor bicycle owned by a resident of the city, town or village, including the payment of a registration fee.
Any county, by ordinance, may require the registration of any bicycle or motor bicycle owned by a resident of the county if the bicycle or motor bicycle is not subject to registration under sub. (2)
. Such ordinance does not apply to any bicycle or motor bicycle subject to registration under sub. (2)
, even if the effective date of the ordinance under sub. (2)
is later than the effective date of the county ordinance. A county may charge a fee for the registration.
Cities and villages cannot license bicyclists, create bicycle courts, or impound bicycles in the absence of express legislative authorization. 66 Atty. Gen. 99.
Authority to regulate certain events and pedestrians.
The authority in charge of the maintenance of a highway may by order, ordinance or resolution:
Regulate community events or celebrations, processions or assemblages on the highways, including reasonable regulations on the use of radios or other electric sound amplification devices, subject to s. 84.07 (4)
Regulate the traffic of pedestrians upon highways within its jurisdiction, including the prohibition of pedestrian crossings at places otherwise permitted by law and the erection of signs indicating such prohibition.
History: 1977 c. 116
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 83
Authority to require accident reports.
Any city, village, town or county may by ordinance require the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident to file with a designated municipal department or officer a report of such accident or a copy of any report required to be filed with the department. All such reports are for the confidential use of such department or officer and are otherwise subject to s. 346.73
, except that this section does not prohibit the disclosure of a person's name or address, of the name or address of a person's employer or of financial information that relates to a person when requested under s. 49.22 (2m)
to the department of workforce development or a county child support agency under under s. 59.53 (5)
Authority to prohibit use of bridges for fishing or swimming.
The authority in charge of maintenance of a highway on which is located a bridge or approach thereto which constitute an undue traffic hazard, if used by pedestrians for the purpose of fishing or swimming, may erect signs prohibiting the fishing or swimming off of such bridge or approach.
Authority to regulate school bus warning lights. 349.21(1)(1)
The governing body of any town, city, village or county may by ordinance provide for the use of flashing red warning lights by school bus operators in a residence or business district when pupils or other authorized passengers are to be loaded or unloaded at a location at which there are no traffic signals and such persons must cross the street or highway before being loaded or after being unloaded.
The governing body of any town, city, village or county may, by ordinance, prohibit the use of flashing red warning lights by school bus operators when pupils or other authorized passengers are loaded or unloaded directly from or onto the school grounds or that portion of the right-of-way between the roadway and the school grounds in a zone designated by "school" warning signs as provided in s. 118.08 (1)
in which a street or highway borders the grounds of a school.
History: 1973 c. 93
; 1987 a. 125
Authority to appoint school crossing guards.
The governing body of any city, village, town or county may by ordinance provide for the appointment of adult school crossing guards for the protection of persons who are crossing a highway in the vicinity of a school. The school crossing guards shall wear insignia or uniforms which designate them as school crossing guards and shall be equipped with signals or signs to direct traffic to stop at school crossings.
History: 1979 c. 344
Authority to establish mass transit way. 349.22(1)(1)
The department with respect to the state trunk highway system may by order, and any local authority with respect to highways under its jurisdiction may by ordinance, designate a portion of any highway under its jurisdiction as a mass transit way, designate the type and character of vehicles which may be operated thereon and specify those conditions under which any of said vehicles may be operated thereon. If car pool vehicles are permitted to use the mass transit way, the authority designating the mass transit way may specify the minimum number of occupants, including the operator, in the vehicles. In this section, the department's authority to designate a mass transit way is limited to freeway entrance ramps and state trunk highways connecting with or extending a mass transit way designated by a local authority.
Whenever the department or local authority designates any highway or portion thereof under its jurisdiction as a mass transit way it may establish priority of right-of-way thereon and make such other regulation of the use of the mass transit way as it deems necessary. The department or local authority shall cause appropriate signs to be erected giving notice of priorities or regulations established under this subsection.
The department or local authority designating the mass transit way may construct curbs, paint lines, erect signs or establish other physical separations to exclude the use of the mass transit way by vehicles other than those specifically permitted to operate thereon.
History: 1973 c. 86
; 1983 a. 130
Authority to designate bicycle lanes and bicycle ways. 349.23(1)(1)
The governing body of any city, town, village or county may by ordinance:
Designate any roadway or portion thereof under its jurisdiction as a bicycle lane.
Designate any sidewalk or portion thereof in its jurisdiction as a bicycle way.
A governing body designating a sidewalk or portion thereof as a bicycle way or a highway or portion thereof as a bicycle lane under this section may:
Designate the type and character of vehicles or other modes of travel which may be operated on a bicycle lane or bicycle way, provided that the operation of such vehicle or other mode of travel is not inconsistent with the safe use and enjoyment of the bicycle lane or bicycle way by bicycle traffic.
Establish priority of right-of-way on the bicycle lane or bicycle way and otherwise regulate the use of the bicycle lane or bicycle way as it deems necessary. The designating governing body may, after public hearing, prohibit through traffic on any highway or portion thereof designated as a bicycle lane, except that through traffic may not be prohibited on any state highway. The designating governing body shall erect and maintain official signs giving notice of the regulations and priorities established under this paragraph, and shall mark all bicycle lanes and bicycle ways with appropriate signs.
Paint lines or construct curbs or establish other physical separations to exclude the use of the bicycle lane or bicycle way by vehicles other than those specifically permitted to operate thereon.
The governing body of any city, town, village or county may by ordinance prohibit the use of bicycles and motor bicycles on a roadway over which they have jurisdiction, after holding a public hearing on the proposal.
Authority to restrict use of in-line skates on roadway. 349.235(1)(1)
The governing body of any city, town, village or county may by ordinance restrict the use of in-line skates on any roadway under its jurisdiction. No ordinance may restrict any person from riding upon in-line skates while crossing a roadway at a crosswalk.
The department of natural resources may promulgate rules designating roadways under its jurisdiction upon which in-line skates may be used, except that no rule may permit a person using in-line skates to attach the skates or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway.
History: 1993 a. 260
Authority to license taxicab operators and taxicabs. 349.24(1)(1)
The council of any city and every village or town board may:
Regulate and license chauffeurs and operators of taxicabs used for hire;
Regulate and license the taxicab business by licensing each taxicab used for hire;
Prohibit any person from operating any motor vehicle for taxicab purposes upon the highways of the city, village or town unless the person is licensed as a chauffeur and operator and unless the taxicab business is licensed by the licensing of each taxicab;
Revoke any license mentioned in this section when in its judgment the public safety so requires.
Any person licensed by any city, village or town as a chauffeur and operator shall not be required to procure either a chauffeur's and operator's license or a taxicab license in any other municipality for the purpose of carrying taxicab passengers for hire from one municipality to another, but this exception does not permit the chauffeur or operator to operate a taxicab wholly within the limits of any municipality in which the chauffeur or operator is not licensed.
Any person licensed under this section is required to comply with the licensing requirements of ch. 343
History: 1989 a. 105
; 1993 a. 246
Authority to license hayrack and sleigh rides. 349.25(1)(1)
In counties containing a city of the first or second class, the owner of a vehicle to be operated upon a highway for the purpose of transporting persons for hire in what is commonly known as a hayrack ride, a sleigh, boxsled or bobsled ride or a ride of similar nature and every person who is to operate such a vehicle shall obtain a license from the county board before so operating such a vehicle. Any person operating any such vehicle under the circumstances described without first obtaining a license from the county board may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than 30 days or both.
No county board may issue a license for any of the vehicles mentioned in sub. (1)
unless the applicant does not have an arrest or conviction record, subject to ss. 111.321
, and until the applicant exhibits proof that liability insurance will be in force for the protection of passengers in the minimum amount of $10,000 for any one passenger and $50,000 for any single accident. Section 632.24
is applicable to the insurance required under this section, whether the vehicle is a motor vehicle or is propelled in some other manner. The county board shall set the amount for each license issued, not to exceed an amount reasonably related to the actual and necessary cost of providing the license.
The county board may, after notice and hearing accorded the licensee, revoke any license issued by it pursuant to this section whenever in its judgment the public safety so requires.
No vehicle licensed pursuant to this section shall be operated upon a highway for the purpose of transporting persons for hire unless it is equipped with at least one red reflector at each of the 2 rear corners of the vehicle and with at least one blue reflector at each of the 2 front corners of the vehicle and at the front end of the pole or tongue. All such reflectors shall be of a type approved by the department.
The county board in any county not containing a city of the first or second class may by ordinance require owners and operators of vehicles to be used for the purposes specified in sub. (1)
to be licensed. The actual issuance of the license may be delegated to the county clerk.