Back to School Safety

As summer comes to a close, schools in the La Crosse area have started or will be starting soon!  The La Crosse Police Department would like to ask that all motorists be more vigilant for kids walking and riding bikes to school, including the university areas.  We are also asking that drivers pay close attention to our School Crossing Guards who will be out before and after school helping kids to safely cross streets at the following intersections:

  • 7th St. & Johnson St.
  • 21st St. & Main St.
  • 2100 Campbell Rd.
  • Gillette St & Kane St.
  • George St. & Gillette St.
  • Losey Blvd. N. & Crowley St.

Motorists should also familiarize themselves with driver responsibility around school buses.  Wisconsin Statute 346.48 requires that the operator of a vehicle which approaches from the front or rear of any school bus which has stopped on a street or highway and is displaying flashing red warning lights and a traffic stop arm, must stop no less than 20 feet from the bus and remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator extinguishes the red warning lights.  This does not apply to vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on a divided highway.

The La Crosse Police Department will also be continuing our Pedestrian High Visibility Enforcement grant that we started in the spring which emphasized pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city.  We will be deploying three officers at peak times and locations to enforce traffic laws in regards to bicycle and pedestrian safety.  The enforcement will include one plain clothes officer and two marked squads (enforcement squads) working at intersections to make sure that vehicles are yielding to pedestrians. The goal of the project is to educate the community on the existing laws and ordinances related to pedestrian, bicycle, and traffic laws.

Prior to deploying these additional officers, we would like to remind the community of some of the rules and regulations that are specific to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.


  • Must yield to pedestrians and bicyclists crossing within a crosswalk area.
  • Cannot turn right on red in front of a pedestrian or bicyclist.
  • Must yield to pedestrians and bicyclists when entering a roadway from an alley or driveway.


  • Must yield to vehicles and avoid suddenly moving into the roadway.
  • Must not interfere with a vehicle at controlled intersection and shall obey traffic lights, signs, and symbols.


  • Shall obey traffic control devices – traffic lights, signs, and symbols.
  • Must yield the right of way to any pedestrian on a sidewalk/bicycle path and shall give an audible signal when passing such pedestrian.
  • Bicycling on sidewalks is allowed throughout the city; HOWEVER, it is prohibited in the downtown business district.
  • A bicyclist’s speed shall be no greater than reasonable and prudent when operating on a sidewalk or bicycle path.
  • When riding in a street, bicycles shall ride with traffic in the same direction, as far right as practicable. The three exceptions are for: overtaking and passing another vehicle in the same direction, making a left turn, and when necessary to avoid unsafe conditions in the roadway.
  • Use of hand signals is required when turning and stopping.
  • Bicycling at night requires the use of a white front headlight and a red rear reflector. Front light must be visible to others from 500 feet away and the rear red reflector must be visible between 50 and 500 feet away.
  • Bicycle registration is required.
  • It is illegal to carry extra passengers on a bicycle (except a tandem).
  • Although it is not a law or ordinance, wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle can prevent death or greatly reduce any injuries incurred if involved in an accident.

Additional information on these regulations and others can be found by visiting the City of La Crosse Municipal Code Chapter 9 Traffic (starting on page 457) or Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 346.



Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: