We all know Grand Rapids, especially the downtown area, is a walking city.

I have seen plenty of people walk when the walking sign is nowhere close to being lit.

Back where I'm from, it is not a big deal. However, here in Michigan, I wonder is jaywalking illegal?

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Is it a big deal?


The best way to describe jaywalking is how Lee Steinberg Law Firm explains it.

Jaywalking is a term used to describe a pedestrian who crosses the street or walks in the road in a non-designated area or wherever else they are not permitted to do so.


Jaywalking in Michigan

So the ultimate question is...

Is jaywalking illegal in Michigan?

The simple answer to this question is "yes".

Michigan law makes two points very clear.

  1. Pedestrians should not enter crosswalks when the "Don't Walk" sign is flashing or lit up.
  2. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks regardless of what the traffic lights indicate until the pedestrians have cleared the path.

According to the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan, Mike Morse Law Firm,

it's perhaps due to these contrasting circumstances that Michigan has no statewide law prohibiting jaywalking. Instead, the state leaves it up to local jurisdictions to decide whether to enact and enforce jaywalking ordinances; as a result, laws (and their enforcement) very widely across our pleasant peninsulas. Simply put - it's important to know that pedestrians (especially jaywalkers) don't always have the legal right of way in cities across Michigan.

However, it can get a bit more complicated in different situations.


Jaywalking Fines

In Detroit, it is considered "pedestrian interference with traffic," which is a misdemeanor that can cost you $105.

In Grand Rapids, there are two different fines. The regular jaywalking fine is $118, however, if you are caught in a school or construction zone, it will cost you $136.

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