Most of the Seattle traffic laws are common sense and easy to understand. Wait for the “walk” signal. Share the road with bicyclists. If you're on a one-way street make sure you're going that one way. signs that accompany a good number of the city’s street signs.
There are some traffic laws in our city that seem constantly debated. The Seattle Post Intelligencer recently consulted with Seattle Police Department officials to discuss reader-based questions about traffic law in the area. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions:
How come there are so many jaywalkers near Pike Place Market?
Seattle Municipal code actually allows for pedestrians to cross the street without the use of a crosswalk in the Pike Place Market Historical District on the following streets west of First Avenue: Pike, Pine, Stewart, and Virginia.
Are you allowed to change lanes underneath the monorail on Fifth Avenue?
Yes, according to Seattle Police Sergeant Sean Whitcomb. A motorist is legally allowed to change lanes under the elevated monorail guideway along Fifth Avenue. You must take extra caution to be sure that the large stone pillars are not concealing an oncoming vehicle from your view.
At what age are children required to use a booster seat or car seat?
A child is required to use a car seat between the ages of four-to-eight years old, unless the child is 4-feet-9-inches or taller (our readers should know this from an earlier blog post on car seat safety). If a child is exempt from the seat due to height or age, he or she should always be properly buckled into a safety belt.
Do police radar guns work in the rain, darkness or other extreme conditions?
Police LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and radar guns work effectively in the rain, dark, and even heavy fog.
“It’s concerning that you were asked that question because those are three major conditions of limited visibility and poor driving conditions,” says State Patrol Trooper Dan McDonald. “In these conditions, motorists shouldn’t worry about getting caught speeding, they should naturally slow down for their safety and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians around them.”
Hopefully this insight from the local law enforcement agencies has helped you better understand some of the Seattle traffic laws. Municipal codes can often times be very confusing, especially for those of us who understand things better in layman’s terms.
If you regularly operate a vehicle in the Seattle area, or even if you just live in the Puget Sound area, it is always a plus to clearly understand the most basic Seattle traffic laws.
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