Edmonds Police Department to focus on pedestrian safety

Jul 10, 2014

Starting this month, the Edmonds Police Department will be conducting a traffic emphasis focusing on pedestrian right of way violations.

This will include traffic violations by both pedestrians and vehicles in specific areas in the city.

The traffic unit, who will rotate their enforcement efforts throughout the city where there is a high volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, will lead the emphasis.

The emphasis will start with an education phase followed by enforcement which will include citations issued for the appropriate violations.

The average driver needs to be aware that they cannot cross a street intersection or crosswalk if the pedestrian is within one lane of the direction in which the car is traveling.

The state statute for pedestrians and vehicle responsibility is spelled out in RCW 46.61.235, 240, 245 and 250.

An example of this would be: If the vehicle is traveling down the street and comes upon a crosswalk and the pedestrian is to the right preparing to cross in front of the vehicle, the driver must let them cross until they are over the center line, into the opposite lane of travel before proceeding on their way.

There have been fatal and severe injury car versus pedestrian collisions in both the downtown and Highway 99 areas of the city.

One of the factors in causing the collisions this past year was failure to yield and inattention.

The Edmonds Police Department has conducted failure to yield to pedestrian emphasis in the past in high traffic and pedestrian volume areas in the city.

This is part of a continuing effort to enforce the laws for pedestrian safety.

The following is from the Washington State Department of Transportation website on pedestrian safety.

Here is a summary of some of Washington's pedestrian laws:

• Traffic signals -Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and traffic control devices unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer (RCW 46.61.050).

• Sidewalks - Drivers and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks (RCW 46.61.261).

• Pedestrians on roadways - Pedestrians must use sidewalks when they are available.

If sidewalks are not available, pedestrians must walk on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic (RCW 46.61.250).

• Bolting into traffic - No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb and move into traffic so that the driver cannot stop (RCW 46.61.235).

• Drivers exercise due care - Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (RCW 46.61.245).

• Stop for pedestrians at intersections - Vehicles shall stop at intersections to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk (RCW 46.61.235). See Washington's Crosswalk Law for more information.

• Yield to vehicles outside intersections - Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway (RCW 46.61.240).





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