Heads up! Starting today, February 6th, 2018, you now have to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, in Grand Rapids.

The City Commission approved a new ordinance that requires drivers to stop at all crosswalks now.  According to a press release from the city, Grand Rapids has a higher-than-state-average of crashes involving cars and pedestrians, so this year the City Commission has decided to try to lower that number by starting the “Vision Zero” initiative which is designed to help eliminate injury and fatality accidents.

Before today, you only had to “yield” the right of way to pedestrians; the new law requires drivers to stop for people crossing the street at both marked and unmarked crosswalks.  The only time you don’t have to stop is if a police officer is directing traffic or there’s a traffic signal.

“This action by the Commission will help Grand Rapids achieve significant, lasting improvements in pedestrian safety,” Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “The goal is to reduce crashes, prevent injuries and save lives by creating a culture of respect for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.”