Pedestrian Safety

Did you know that Pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in a marked or unmarked crosswalk?

Pedestrian Safety is a two way street and affects everyone who uses the roadways.  Whether you are a driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist,  everyone wants to be safe when they go on the road.  Below are Washington State law links and references along with some tips to being safe and keeping those around you safe.

RCW 46.61.235 - Crosswalks

  • The operator of any approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway whether they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
  • No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

RCW 46.61.240 - Crossing at other than Crosswalks

  • Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked or unmarked crosswalk shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
  • Where curb ramps exist or adjacent to intersections, disabled persons may enter the roadway from the curb ramps and cross the roadway within or as close as practicable to the crosswalk.

RCW 46-61.440 - Maximum Speed limit when passing school or playground crosswalks

  • It is unlawful to exceed 20 mph in a marked school zone or playground.
  • More on penalties, click on the RCW link.

Click on RCW links above to see entire rule.

Please be safe and look out for pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, children, elderly, the blind and everyone who uses the roadways.

  • Pedestrians - Look both ways before crossing the street and make sure you make eye contact with drivers of vehicles.  There are too many distractions and although it is illegal to be distracted while driving, there are still drivers who text, talk on phone, and are distracted in many other ways. 
  • Strollers - Keep your little ones safe, strollers can be hidden by parked cars or stopped cars.  It is illegal for vehicles to pass vehicles that have stopped at an intersection for pedestrians.
  • Wheelchairs - It is important to be visible to oncoming traffic.  Crossing on a corner that gives you the most visibility:
    • Crossing west to east, use the southwest corner to start crossing, to be more visible.
    • Crossing east to west, use the northeast corner to start crossing to be more visible.
  • Children - when driving in school zones, park areas and neighborhoods, keep an eye out for children playing.  They are not necessarily paying attention to cars or other vehicles on the road.  Their size can also be concealed by parked vehicles and hard to see.  Driving at lower speeds will allow the driver to observe activity around them. 
  • Elderly and the Blind - Whether someone is walking with a cane, walker or other assisted walking devises, vehicles need to allow the proper time for those using these devises to cross the street.  Pedestrians that are visually impaired are at an additional disadvantage as eye contact with the driver of a vehicle is not an option.

Thank you for taking the time to review ways to keep pedestrians safe and reviewing Washington State Law