State Law Definitions

Below are some common terms defined in Michigan law [MCL 257]:

BICYCLES are human-powered devices (not vehicles) with 2 or 3 wheels all over 14 inches in diameter.

BICYCLE LANES are the portion of the street that is adjacent to the roadway and established for those riding bicycles.

CROSSWALKS, whether marked or not, are at all roadway intersections and are aligned with the sidewalks. They can also exist outside of intersections (typically midblock crossings) when indicated by pavement markings.

MOTOR VEHICLES are self-propelled vehicles, however, this does not include electric bikes, electric skateboards, commercial quadricycles (e.g. beer bikes), or personal mobility devices.

ROADWAY is officially the portion of the street “improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel.” It does not include bike lanes, parking lanes, shoulders, or sidewalks. This definition is important to understanding Michigan bicycle laws.

STREET and HIGHWAY mean the same and are both the entire width of the public right-of-way open to vehicular travel. TRAFFIC means “pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, street cars and other conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for purposes of travel.” Bicyclists and scooters are included in this definition. WE ARE ALL TRAFFIC!


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