Rules of the Road

On the road, off the phone! New distracted driving law in effect now!

In Seattle, we’ve seen distracted driving on the rise – a 300% increase (from 2011 to 2014) – contributing to 3,000 of the 10,000 crashes per year on city streets. Statewide, fatalities from distracted driving increased 32% from 2014 to 2015.

These crashes are preventable. It’s no accident to be texting your friend, scrolling through your social media feeds, or finding that perfect song. These are all choices that could change someone’s life forever.

Learn more about the statewide distracted driving law at wadrivetozero.com/distracted-driving/

Each of us plays a role in reaching Vision Zero and making Seattle’s street safer for everyone – whether we’re driving, walking, or biking. Been a while since drivers ed? Or maybe you’re new to Seattle? Either way, make sure you stay up to speed on the rules of the road.

Safety Tips

If you’re driving there…

Look out for pedestrians and other road users.
Look out for pedestrians and other travelers.
Slow down and follow the speed limit.
Slow down and follow the speed limit.
Yield to pedestrians and people on bikes when turning.
Yield to pedestrians and people on bikes when turning.

If you’re going by bike…

If you’re riding at night use a light and wear reflective clothing.
If you’re riding at night use a light and wear reflective clothing.
Wear a helmet at all times. It’s the law.
Wear a helmet at all times. It’s the law.
Make sure drivers see you and be especially careful near trucks and large vehicles.
Make sure drivers see you and be especially careful near trucks and large vehicles.

If you’re a pedestrian…

Look before you cross. Drivers may not see you.
Look before you cross. Drivers may not see you.
Look out for backing vehicles, especially large trucks that may not see you.
Look out for backing vehicles, especially large trucks that may not see you.
Don’t take a risk. Walking while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving.
Don’t take a risk. Walking while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving.

Our Laws

Speed
In Seattle, the speed limit on all residential (non-arterial) streets is 20 MPH The speed limit on arterials is 25 MPH, unless otherwise posted. Speed is the critical factor in the severity and frequency of crashes. Learn more about why Seattle lowered speed limits in 2016.

Intersections
Drivers are required to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

If approaching an intersection with no stop sign or traffic light, in the absence of a pedestrian, the vehicle to the left must yield to the vehicle on the right.

Traffic Signals
Pedestrians, people on bikes, and people driving must obey traffic signals and traffic control devices unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.

Cell Phones
It is against the law to text or use a hand-held cell phone when driving.

Bicycling on the Road
When riding on a roadway, a cyclist has all the rights and responsibilities of a vehicle driver. For night bicycle riding, a white front light (not a reflector) visible for 500 feet and a red rear reflector are required.

Sidewalks
Drivers and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks