Tag Archive for 'driving'

Road rules for drivers: yield at crosswalks

SDOT’s blog highlights some rules of the road for drivers, which is a good refresher for anyone who ever gets behind the wheel. The section on crosswalks is of particular importance for pedestrian safety:

Most people are unaware that every intersection contains a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked. This is true throughout the state of Washington. Drivers must stop for pedestrians when crossing the street at marked crosswalks and at intersections as well. Whenever a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of another vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

When attempting to make a left turn at an intersection with pedestrians in the crosswalk, state law says that drivers can turn into the crosswalk only after pedestrians are one lane past the drivers half of the roadway. The image below should help clarify this law. Just remember that pedestrians and bicyclists have the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections.

Washington State's Crosswalk Law

Although the rules are pretty simple, 251 drivers were at fault for hitting pedestrians last year. Drivers have a lot to pay attention to, but remembering the rules of the road is one way to be a more responsible driver.


Bill would allow cities to lower speed limit more easily

Seattle Bike Blog discusses a bill in Washington State’s legislature that would make it easier for cities to set non-arterial speed limits at 20 miles-per-hour.  Currently, cities are required to perform an engineering study in order to lower speed limits.  As Seattle Bike Blog reports, pedestrians hit at 20 mph have a 5% of dying, whereas the likelihood of dying after being hit at 30 mph is 40%.