Pedestrian Laws in Madison


Email -- Safe Communities -- Traffic Engineering 

(608) 441-3060 --  Safe Communities (
(608) 266-4761 -- City of Madison Traffic Engineering

Safe Communities Office
Suite 209
2453 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 6652
Madison, WI 53716

Mon.-Fri. 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

1) Remember that a crosswalk, by definition, is simply the extension of a sidewalk across a street at an intersection, whether or not the crosswalk is marked with painted lines.

2) When a pedestrian is crossing a street at a marked or unmarked crosswalk, and there is no traffic signal:
  • As a driver, you must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian
  • It does not matter if there is a stop sign at the intersection, or if there is no stop sign, you must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.
  • When turning, you must yield to both pedestrians crossing the street you are on and those crossing the street you are turning onto
3) "Yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian” means slowing down, or stopping if necessary, to avoid endangering, colliding with or interfering in any way with pedestrian travel.

4) When turning on a green signal, or making a right turn on red after stopping, you must first yield the right-of -way to pedestrians in the crosswalk you are turning across.

5) Whenever a vehicle is stopped at an intersection to let a pedestrian cross the street, you must also stop when approaching from the rear of the stopped vehicle.

6) Blind pedestrian law: You must stop no closer than 10 feet from a person carrying a white cane or walking with a guide dog, no matter where the pedestrian is crossing the street, and take such actions to avoid accident or injury to the pedestrian.

7) When approaching a school crossing where there is an adult school crossing guard, you must follow the directions of the guard. If directed to stop, you must remain stopped until the school crossing guard indicates to you that it is safe to go.

8) When approaching a stopped school bus with its flashing red warning lights on and stop sign extended, you must stop at least 20 feet from the bus, both from the rear or the front, and remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the bus driver turns off the flashing red warning lights and retracts the stop sign.

9) Obey all speed limits, including 20 mph in school zones when children are present.

Failure to yield to pedestrians in Madison can mean a $222.50 fine with four license points. For a vehicle that goes around or past a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian, there is a $224 fine with three points.