Did you know Washington state law requires obedience to all traffic control devices whether driver, bicyclist or pedestrian? Traffic controls are in place to help ensure safe passage for individuals using the roadways. To help ensure the safety of everyone on the road, you should familiarize yourself with traffic control devices so you know what do. It may be a good idea to review the Washington state driver’s handbook online at the Washington State Department of Licensing. The manual helps drivers know the different types of traffic control devices and the responsibilities you have as a driver when you come across one.
The Washington Rule of the Road regarding obedience to and required traffic control devices is as follows:
RCW 46.61.050: Obedience to and required traffic control devices.
(1) The driver of any vehicle, every bicyclist, and every pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, subject to the exception granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter.
(2) No provision of this chapter for which official traffic control devices are required shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official device is not in proper position and sufficiently legible or visible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular section does not state that official traffic control devices are required, such section shall be effective even though no devices are erected or in place.
(3) Whenever official traffic control devices are placed in position approximately conforming to the requirements of this chapter, such devices shall be presumed to have been so placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority, unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence.
(4) Any official traffic control device placed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and purporting to conform to the lawful requirements pertaining to such devices shall be presumed to comply with the requirements of this chapter, unless the contrary shall be established by competent evidence.
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