TRAFFIC SIGNS, SIGNALS AND MARKINGS
Traffic-control signal legend. 346.37(1)
Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights successively, or with arrows, the following colors shall be used and shall indicate and apply to operators of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:
Vehicular traffic facing a green signal may proceed straight through, make a U-turn, or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits the turning maneuver, but vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles and to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited.
Pedestrians, and persons who are riding bicycles or electric personal assistive mobility devices in a manner which is consistent with the safe use of the crosswalk by pedestrians, facing the signal may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.
When shown with or following the green, traffic facing a yellow signal shall stop before entering the intersection unless so close to it that a stop may not be made in safety.
Vehicular traffic facing a red signal shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of an intersection, or if none, then before entering the intersection or at such other point as may be indicated by a clearly visible sign or marking and shall remain standing until green or other signal permitting movement is shown.
No pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device facing such signal shall enter the roadway unless he or she can do so safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
Vehicular traffic facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping as required under subd. 1.
, cautiously enter the intersection to make a right turn into the nearest lawfully available lane for traffic moving to the right or to turn left from a one-way highway into the nearest lawfully available lane of a one-way highway on which vehicular traffic travels to the left. No turn may be made on a red signal if lanes of moving traffic are crossed or if a sign at the intersection prohibits a turn. In making a turn on a red signal vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicyclists, and riders of electric personal assistive mobility devices lawfully within a crosswalk, to operators of vehicles making a lawful U-turn, and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.
Notwithstanding subd. 1.
, a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping as required under subd. 1.
for not less than 45 seconds, proceed cautiously through the intersection before the signal turns green if no other vehicles are present at the intersection to actuate the signal and the operator of the motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle reasonably believes the signal is vehicle actuated. The operator of a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle, or bicycle proceeding through a red signal under this subdivision shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicular traffic, pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device proceeding through a green signal at the intersection or lawfully within a crosswalk or using the intersection. This subdivision does not affect any authorization for a bicyclist under subd. 2.
Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal may enter the intersection to make the movement indicated by the arrow but shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicyclists, and riders of electric personal assistive mobility devices lawfully within a crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection. Vehicular traffic facing a left turn arrow may make a U-turn unless a sign prohibits U-turns. When the green arrow signal indicates a right or left turn traffic shall cautiously enter the intersection.
No pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of electric personal assistive mobility device facing such signal shall enter the roadway unless he or she can do so safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
In the event an official traffic signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section are applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.
Pedestrian control signals.
Whenever special pedestrian control signals exhibiting the words "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are in place, such signals indicate as follows:
A pedestrian, or a person riding a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device in a manner which is consistent with the safe use of the crossing by pedestrians, facing a "Walk" signal may proceed across the roadway or other vehicular crossing in the direction of the signal and the operators of all vehicles shall yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian, bicyclist, or electric personal assistive mobility device rider.
(2) Don't walk.
No pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device may start to cross the roadway or other vehicular crossing in the direction of a "Don't Walk" signal, but any pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device who has partially completed crossing on the "Walk" signal may proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone while a "Don't Walk" signal is showing.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way on a green light only where there are no pedestrian control signals. City of Hartford v. Godfrey, 92 Wis. 2d 815
, 286 N.W.2d 10
(Ct. App. 1979).
Whenever flashing red or yellow signals are used they require obedience by vehicular traffic as follows:
(1) Flashing red (stop signal).
When a red lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, operators of vehicles shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at an intersection or at a limit line when marked, or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and the right to proceed is subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.
(2) Flashing yellow (caution signal).
When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, operators of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past such signal only with caution.
Sub. (2) imposes a greater duty of care on a driver proceeding through an intersection with a flashing yellow light than on a driver proceeding where an intersection is not so controlled. Sabinasz v. Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp. 71 Wis. 2d 218
, 238 N.W.2d 99
Whistle signals. 346.40(1)(1)
Whenever traffic is alternately being directed to stop and to proceed by a traffic officer using a whistle, such officer shall use the following whistle signals which shall signify as follows:
One blast of the whistle means that all traffic not within the intersection shall stop.
Two blasts of the whistle means that traffic which had been stopped prior to the one blast shall proceed through the intersection and that the traffic which was stopped by the one blast shall remain stopped.
The traffic officer shall regulate the interval between the one and the 2 blasts so as to permit traffic that is legally within the intersection to clear the intersection.
Display of unauthorized signs and signals prohibited. 346.41(1)(1)
No person shall place, maintain or display upon or in view of any highway or at or in view of any railroad crossing any unauthorized sign, light, reflector, signal, marking or device which:
Purports to be or is an imitation of or resembles or may be mistaken for an official traffic sign or signal or railroad sign or signal; or
Attempts to direct the movement of traffic; or
Hides from view or by its color, location, brilliance or manner of operation interferes with the effectiveness of any official traffic sign or signal or railroad sign or signal.
No person may place or maintain, and no public authority may permit upon any highway, any traffic control device bearing any advertising, except that a federal or fluorescent yellow flag, not less than 20 inches nor more than 24 inches square and bearing either the words "Safety Patrol" or "School," attached to a light weight pole 8 feet or less in length may be used by members of school safety patrols standing adjacent to but off the roadway to warn traffic that children are about to cross the roadway.
No person shall place or maintain, or allow to be displayed any red or amber reflector within the limits of the highway boundaries at or near the entrance to a private road or driveway. The use of blue reflectors is permitted provided there is no disapproval by the highway authority in charge of maintenance of the highway.
History: 1981 c. 42
; 2009 a. 88
See also s. Trans 200.04
, Wis. adm. code.
Interference with signs and signals prohibited.
No person may intentionally damage, deface, move, or obstruct an official traffic sign or signal or neighborhood watch sign under s. 60.23 (17m)
or 66.0429 (2)
or intentionally interfere with the effective operation of such sign or signal.
Penalty for violating sections 346.37 to 346.42. 346.43(1)(a)
Any pedestrian violating s. 346.37
may be required to forfeit not less than $2 nor more than $20 for the first offense and not less than $10 nor more than $50 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
Unless otherwise provided in subd. 2.
, any operator of a vehicle violating ss. 346.37
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.
Any operator of a bicycle or electric personal assistive mobility device violating s. 346.37
may be required to forfeit not more than $20.
If an operator of a vehicle violates s. 346.37
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 subd. 1.
for the violation shall be doubled.
Any person violating s. 346.42
may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300.
Any person violating s. 346.41
may be required to forfeit not less than $25 nor more than $200 for the first offense and may be required to forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $500 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
All vehicles to stop at signal indicating approach of train. 346.44(1)(1)
The operator of a vehicle shall not drive on or across a railroad crossing under any of the following circumstances:
While any traffic officer or railroad employee signals to stop;
While any warning device signals to stop, except that if the operator of the vehicle after stopping and investigating finds that no railroad train or railroad track equipment is approaching the operator may proceed.
If any crossbuck sign specified under s. 192.29 (5) (a)
is maintained at the crossing, while any railroad train or railroad track equipment occupies the crossing or approaches so closely to the crossing as to constitute a hazard of collision.
The operator of a vehicle shall not drive through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
Certain vehicles to stop at railroad crossings. 346.45(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (3)
, the operator of any of the following vehicles before crossing at grade any track of a railroad, shall stop such vehicle within 50 feet, but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of such railroad:
Every motor vehicle transporting any quantity of chlorine.
Every motor vehicle which, in accordance with sub. (4)
, is required to be marked or placarded with a classification of marking or placarding that requires the vehicle to stop.
Every cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, used for the transportation of any liquid having a flashpoint below 200° Fahrenheit, as determined by the test method approved for that product by the American society for testing and materials.
Every cargo tank motor vehicle transporting a commodity which at the time of loading has a temperature above its flashpoint as determined by the same standard method of testing as prescribed in par. (d)
The operator of every vehicle required to stop before crossing any track shall listen and look in both directions along the track for any approaching railroad train or railroad track equipment, and shall not proceed until such precautions have been taken and until the operator has ascertained that the course is clear. Wherever an auxiliary lane is provided for stopping at a railroad, operators of vehicles required to stop shall use such lane for stopping.
A railroad grade crossing when a police officer or crossing flagman directs traffic to proceed.
A railroad grade crossing when an official traffic control signal permits traffic to proceed.
An abandoned railroad grade crossing with a sign indicating the rail line is abandoned.
A railroad grade crossing which is marked with a sign in accordance with s. 195.285 (3)
. Such signs shall be erected by the maintaining authority only upon order of the office of the commissioner of railroads as set forth in s. 195.285
The department shall adopt rules for the marking and placarding of vehicles being used to transport hazardous materials which are potentially dangerous to life and property, which rules shall be in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. department of transportation. These rules shall identify classifications of markings or placarding that, consistent with federal regulations, when required on a vehicle also require the vehicle to stop as provided in sub. (1) (c)
Owner's liability for vehicle illegally crossing at a railroad crossing. 346.452(1)
Subject to s. 346.01 (2)
, the owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.44
shall be liable for the violation as provided in this section.
A railroad employee who observes a violation of s. 346.44
may prepare a written report indicating that a violation has occurred. If possible, the report shall contain the following information:
The time and the approximate location at which the violation occurred.
The license number and color of the vehicle involved in the violation.
Identification of the vehicle as an automobile, station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle.
Within 24 hours after observing the violation, the railroad employee may deliver the report to a traffic officer of the county or municipality in which the violation occurred. A report which does not contain all of the information in sub. (2)
shall nevertheless be delivered and shall be maintained by the county or municipality for statistical purposes.
Within 48 hours after receiving a report containing all of the information in sub. (2)
and after verifying the information provided under sub. (2) (c)
, the traffic officer may prepare a uniform traffic citation under s. 345.11
and may personally serve it upon the owner of the vehicle.