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Traffic Control Signals Reduce Car AccidentsTraffic control signals reduce car accidents each day. However, during 2000 to 2007 the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported approximately 800 to 1,000 fatal car accidents at intersections from drivers running a red light.  In addition to that, about 100,000 to 125,000 people are injured from drivers running a red light. When you are driving, it is a driver’s responsibility to obey all traffic control signals to avoid causing a car accident.

Yellow Light Signal

Most people know Green as Go, Red as Stop, but Yellow is questionable.  Some people have different opinions on what a yellow light indicates.

A yellow light is a light to warn you that your direction of travel will be ending and will soon be a red light, possibly immediately.  Additionally, if there is a pedestrian lawfully in the intersection controlled area you are to STOP for the pedestrian.

If you happen to be a pedestrian and are facing a yellow light, you are not to enter the roadway unless permitted under RCW 46.61.060.

According to the Washington Department of Transportation, in 2015, approximately 2,703 accidents occurred due to a driver disregarding a signal. 1,450 accidents occurred due to disregarding a stop sign or red beacon and 132 accidents occurred due to disregarding a yield or yellow beacon.  You can find the 2015 Collision Summary at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/mapsdata/crash/pdf/2015_Annual_Collision_Summary.pdf.

It is important when driving to Pay Attention, especially when coming to traffic controlled intersection. Traffic controls are there to facilitate the flow of traffic and keep you safe so you do not become a part of the state’s collision statistics.

RCW 46.61.055: Traffic control signal legend.

Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic control signals exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red and yellow shall be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word or legend, and said lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:

(1) Green indication

(a) Vehicle operators facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign at such place prohibits either such turn. Vehicle operators turning right or left shall stop to allow other vehicles lawfully within the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators turning right or left shall also stop for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

(b) Vehicle operators facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another indication, may enter the intersection control area only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time. Vehicle operators shall stop to allow other vehicles lawfully within the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators shall also stop for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

(c) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal, as provided in RCW 46.61.060 as now or hereafter amended, pedestrians facing any green signal, except when the sole green signal is a turn arrow, may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(2) Steady yellow indication

(a) Vehicle operators facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal are thereby warned that the related green movement is being terminated or that a red indication will be exhibited immediately thereafter when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection. Vehicle operators shall stop for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

(b) Pedestrians facing a steady circular yellow or yellow arrow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in RCW 46.61.060 shall not enter the roadway.

(3) Steady red indication

(a) Vehicle operators facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection control area and shall remain standing until an indication to proceed is shown. However, the vehicle operators facing a steady circular red signal may, after stopping proceed to make a right turn from a one-way or two-way street into a two-way street or into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn; or a left turn from a one-way or two-way street into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn; unless a sign posted by competent authority prohibits such movement. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall remain stopped to allow other vehicles lawfully within or approaching the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall also remain stopped for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

(b) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian control signal as provided in RCW 46.61.060 as now or hereafter amended, pedestrians facing a steady circular red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

(c) Vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may not enter the intersection control area to make the movement indicated by such arrow, and unless entering the intersection control area to make such other movement as is permitted by other indications shown at the same time, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a crosswalk on the near side of the intersection control area, or if none, then before entering the intersection control area and shall remain standing until an indication to make the movement indicated by such arrow is shown. However, the vehicle operators facing a steady red arrow indication may, after stopping proceed to make a right turn from a one-way or two-way street into a two-way street or into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the right turn; or a left turn from a one-way street or two-way street into a one-way street carrying traffic in the direction of the left turn; unless a sign posted by competent authority prohibits such movement. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall remain stopped to allow other vehicles lawfully within or approaching the intersection control area to complete their movements. Vehicle operators planning to make such turns shall also remain stopped for pedestrians who are lawfully within the intersection control area as required by RCW 46.61.235(1).

(d) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal, pedestrians facing a steady red arrow signal indication shall not enter the roadway.

(4) If an official traffic control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section shall be applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of any such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.

Personal Injury Law Firm Tri-Cities, WA

When you are injured in an accident, you need a personal injury lawyer in Tri-Cities on your side.  Our experienced attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.  Contact the law office of personal injury attorney Mat Parke for a free consultation.  This is your opportunity to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case for free.  Call (509) 582-7274.

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