346.37(3) (3)If a traffic control signal suffers a loss of power or otherwise malfunctions so that the traffic control signal does not exhibit any color of light, vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and persons riding bicycles, electric scooters, or electric personal assistive mobility devices shall proceed, and personal delivery device operators shall ensure that personal delivery devices proceed, at the traffic control signal as if the traffic control signal were an official stop sign and shall comply with the requirements applicable under ss. 346.18 (1) and (3) and 346.46 (1), (2), and (4), unless otherwise directed by a traffic officer.
346.38 346.38 Pedestrian control signals.
346.38(1)(1)Walk. A pedestrian, or a person riding a bicycle, electric scooter, or electric personal assistive mobility device in a manner which is consistent with the safe use of the crossing by pedestrians, facing a pedestrian signal authorizing crossing may proceed, and a personal delivery device operator may allow a personal delivery device facing a pedestrian signal authorizing crossing to 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, personal delivery device, bicyclist, or electric scooter or electric personal assistive mobility device rider.
346.38(2) (2)Don't walk. No pedestrian, personal delivery device, bicyclist, or rider of an electric scooter or an electric personal assistive mobility device may start to cross, and no personal delivery device operator may allow a personal delivery device to start to cross, the roadway or other vehicular crossing in the direction of a pedestrian signal limiting crossing, regardless of whether the signal is steady or flashing, but any pedestrian, personal delivery device, bicyclist, or rider of an electric scooter or an electric personal assistive mobility device that has partially completed crossing on the pedestrian signal authorizing crossing may proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone while a pedestrian signal limiting crossing is showing.
346.38 Annotation 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).
346.39 346.39 Flashing signals. Whenever flashing red or yellow signals are used they require obedience by vehicular traffic as follows:
346.39(1) (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.
346.39(2) (2)Flashing yellow (caution signal). Subject to s. 346.37 (1) (e), 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.
346.39 History History: 2015 a. 74.
346.39 Annotation 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 (1975).
346.40 346.40 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:
346.40(1)(a) (a) One blast of the whistle means that all traffic not within the intersection shall stop.
346.40(1)(b) (b) 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.
346.40(2) (2)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.
346.41 346.41 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, pavement marking, or device which:
346.41(1)(a) (a) 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
346.41(1)(b) (b) Attempts to direct the movement of traffic; or
346.41(1)(c) (c) 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.
346.41(2) (2)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.
346.41(3) (3)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.
346.41 History History: 1981 c. 42; 2009 a. 88; 2015 a. 124.
346.41 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. Trans 200.04, Wis. adm. code.
346.42 346.42 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.
346.42 History History: 1985 a. 194; 1987 a. 205; 1999 a. 150 s. 672.
346.43 346.43 Penalty for violating sections 346.37 to 346.42.
346.43(1)(1)
346.43(1)(a) (a) Any pedestrian or personal delivery device operator violating s. 346.37 or 346.38 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.
346.43(1)(b)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 2. or 3. or sub. (4), any operator of a vehicle violating ss. 346.37 to 346.39 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.
346.43(1)(b)2. 2. Any operator of a bicycle, electric scooter, or electric personal assistive mobility device violating s. 346.37, 346.38 or 346.39 may be required to forfeit not more than $20.
346.43(1)(b)3. 3. If an operator of a vehicle violates s. 346.37 or 346.39 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.
346.43(2) (2)Any person violating s. 346.42 may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300.
346.43(3) (3)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.
346.43(4) (4)
346.43(4)(a)(a) If a person violates s. 346.37 (1) (a) 1., (c) 3., or (d) 1. or 346.39 (1) and the violation results in great bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (14), to another, the person shall forfeit $500.
346.43(4)(b) (b) If a person violates s. 346.37 (1) (a) 1., (c) 3., or (d) 1. or 346.39 (1) and the violation results in death to another, the person shall forfeit $1,000.
subch. VII of ch. 346 SUBCHAPTER VII
REQUIRED STOPS
346.44 346.44 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:
346.44(1)(a) (a) While any traffic officer or railroad employee signals to stop;
346.44(1)(b) (b) 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.
346.44(1)(c) (c) 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.
346.44(2) (2)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.
346.44 History History: 1991 a. 316; 2005 a. 95; 2011 a. 101.
346.445 346.445 Limitations on pedestrians and personal delivery devices crossing railroad tracks.
346.445(1)(1)No pedestrian may enter or cross a railroad crossing, and no personal delivery device operator may allow a personal delivery device to enter or cross a railroad crossing, under any of the following circumstances:
346.445(1)(a) (a) While a traffic officer or railroad employee signals to stop.
346.445(1)(b) (b) While a warning device signals to stop, except that if the pedestrian after stopping and investigating, or the personal delivery device operator after stopping the personal delivery device and investigating, finds that no railroad train or railroad track equipment is approaching, the pedestrian or personal delivery device may proceed.
346.445(1)(c) (c) If any crossbuck sign specified under s. 192.29 (5) (a) is maintained at the crossing, while a railroad train or railroad track equipment occupies the crossing or approaches so closely to the crossing as to constitute a hazard of collision.
346.445(2) (2)No pedestrian may cross, and no personal delivery device operator may allow a personal delivery device to cross, through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
346.445(3) (3)No pedestrian may cross through or around or climb over or under, and no personal delivery device operator may allow a personal delivery device to cross through or around or climb over or under, a railroad train or railroad track equipment while the railroad train or railroad track equipment occupies a railroad crossing.
346.445 History History: 2013 a. 219; 2017 a. 13.
346.45 346.45 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:
346.45(1)(a) (a) Every motor bus transporting passengers.
346.45(1)(am) (am) Every vehicle painted and displaying markings in accordance with s. 347.44 (1).
346.45(1)(b) (b) Every motor vehicle transporting any quantity of chlorine.
346.45(1)(c) (c) 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.
346.45(1)(d) (d) Every cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, used for the transportation of any liquid having a flashpoint below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, as determined by the test method approved for that product by ASTM International.
346.45(1)(e) (e) 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).
346.45(1)(f) (f) Every vehicle transporting a building, as defined in s. 348.27 (12m) (a) 1.
346.45(1)(g) (g) Every cargo tank motor vehicle, whether loaded or empty, transporting a commodity under exemption in accordance with 49 CFR part 107, subpart B.
346.45(2) (2)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.
346.45(3) (3)A stop need not be made at:
346.45(3)(a) (a) A railroad grade crossing when a police officer or crossing flagman directs traffic to proceed.
346.45(3)(b) (b) A railroad grade crossing when an official traffic control signal permits traffic to proceed.
346.45(3)(c) (c) An abandoned railroad grade crossing with a sign indicating the rail line is abandoned.
346.45(3)(d) (d) 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.
346.45(4) (4)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).
346.452 346.452 Owner's liability for vehicle illegally crossing at a railroad crossing.
346.452(1)(1)Subject to s. 346.01 (2), the owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.44 or 346.45 shall be liable for the violation as provided in this section.
346.452(2) (2)A railroad employee who observes a violation of s. 346.44 or 346.45 may prepare a written report indicating that a violation has occurred. If possible, the report shall contain the following information:
346.452(2)(a) (a) The violation alleged.
346.452(2)(b) (b) The time and the approximate location at which the violation occurred.
346.452(2)(c) (c) The license number and color of the vehicle involved in the violation.
346.452(2)(d) (d) Identification of the vehicle as an automobile, station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle, or other type of vehicle.
346.452(3) (3)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.
346.452(4) (4)
346.452(4)(a)(a) 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) and (d), the traffic officer may prepare a uniform traffic citation under s. 345.11 and may personally serve it upon the owner of the vehicle.
346.452(4)(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.
346.452(4)(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.
346.452(4)(d) (d) In addition to serving the person with the citation under par. (a), (b), or (c), the serving agency shall include a notice that informs the person that he or she may petition the court for a change of venue; of the court costs required for petitioning for a change of venue; and of the procedures for petitioning the court for a change of venue.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)