Starting in the month of July, police will begin focusing on traffic violations by “both pedestrians and vehicles in specific areas in the city,” said Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marsh. The emphasis will be led by the traffic unit, which will rotate its enforcement efforts throughout the city “where there is a high volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic,” Marsh added. Police will start with education, which will be followed by enforcement, including citations.
“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,” Marsh said. “An example of this would be that if you are traveling down the street and come upon a crosswalk and the pedestrian is to your right preparing to cross in front of you, you as the driver MUST let them cross until they are over the center line, into the opposite lane of travel before proceeding on your way.”
During recent car-vs.-pedestrian collisions in both downtown Edmonds and along Highway 99, one cause “was failure to yield and inattention,” he said.
As a reminder, here is an excerpt from the Washington State Department of Transportation website on pedestrian safety.
Washington State Pedestrian Laws
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 can not 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).