Enforcing traffic laws helps to create a safe walking and driving environment. Enforcement programs remind people about traffic laws, encourage safer behavior and protect everyone using the public right-of-way.
As part of the Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign, targeted enforcement efforts by the Seattle Police Department will occur at high collision locations in the Center City area from December 29, 2010, to January 19, 2011.
The main goal of enforcement is to deter unsafe behavior by drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists, and to encourage people, whether they are driving or walking, to obey traffic laws and share the road safely. The effort will not detract from other policing duties or require additional funding, but will be part of the regular duties of the Seattle Police Department’s Traffic Section.
Below is the Seattle Municipal Code related to driver actions near crosswalks and when and where pedestrians can cross the street.
SMC 11.66.060 Blocking intersections and crosswalks
No person who is responsible for the operation of any railroad train or car shall stop the same within an intersection or on a crosswalk except to avoid accident or upon direction of a peace officer.
SMC 11.53.400 Further limitations on overtaking and passing
Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the operator of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle. (RCW 46.61.235(4))
SMC 11.50.270 “Walk” pedestrian-control signal
Pedestrians facing a walking person symbol signal may cross the roadway in the direction of the signal. If pedestrians have begun to cross a roadway while facing such a signal, all approaching vehicle operators shall stop to allow them to complete their crossing.
SMC 11.50.280 “Don’t walk” pedestrian-control signal
Pedestrians facing a steady or flashing hand symbol signal shall not enter the roadway, but if pedestrians have begun to cross before the display of either signal, vehicle operators shall stop to allow them to complete their movements.
Tips for driving safely
• Don’t block the box
• Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk—assume they are stopped for a pedestrian
• Don’t be a distracted driver—don’t use cell phones or text while driving
• Yield to pedestrians
• Make eye contact with a pedestrian before proceeding through a crosswalk
Tips for walking safely
• Use the sidewalk
• Wear bright clothing at night so you can be more easily seen
• Always use marked crosswalks whenever possible
• Make eye contact with drivers who are approaching
• Don’t be a distracted walker–turn off headphones and pay attention when crossing the street
To learn more about the Holiday Pedestrian Safety Campaign visit: www.seattle.gov/transportation/seeyouinthecrosswalk.htm
Media contact: Marybeth Turner, (206) 684-8548