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Washington Law for Entering the RoadwayWhen approaching an intersection or entering the roadway, it is the responsibility of the driver to yield the right-a-way before proceeding to avoid a car accident. At a stop sign, be sure to come to a full stop and yield the right-of-way to any traffic in the intersection or approaching the intersection. At a yield sign, slow down and if necessary stop to allow other traffic to proceed.

The following are the Washington state laws for entering the roadway:

RCW 46.61.190: Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

  • Preferential right-of-way may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in RCW 36.110.
  • Except when directed to proceed by a duly authorized flagger, or a police officer, or a firefighter vested by law with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the roadway, and after having stopped shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways.
  • The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and if required for safety to stop, shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering a marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the roadway, and then after slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways: PROVIDED, That if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver’s failure to yield right-of-way.

RCW 46.61.195: Arterial highways designated—Stopping on entering.

All state highways are hereby declared to be arterial highways as respects all other public highways or private ways, except that the state department of transportation has the authority to designate any county road or city street as an arterial having preference over the traffic on the state highway if traffic conditions will be improved by such action.

Those city streets designated by the state department of transportation as forming a part of the routes of state highways through incorporated cities and towns are declared to be arterial highways as respects all other city streets or private ways.

The governing authorities of incorporated cities and towns may designate any street as an arterial having preference over the traffic on a state highway if the change is first approved in writing by the state department of transportation. The local authorities making such a change in arterial designation shall do so by proper ordinance or resolution and shall erect or cause to be erected and maintained standard stop signs, or “Yield” signs, to accomplish this change in arterial designation.

The operator of any vehicle entering upon any arterial highway from any other public highway or private way shall come to a complete stop before entering the arterial highway when stop signs are erected as provided by law.

RCW 46.61.200: Stop intersections other than arterial may be designated.

In addition to the points of intersection of any public highway with any arterial public highway that is constituted by law or by any proper authorities of this state or any city or town of this state, the state department of transportation with respect to state highways, and the proper authorities with respect to any other public highways, have the power to determine and designate any particular intersection, or any particular highways, roads, or streets or portions thereof, at any intersection with which vehicles shall be required to stop before entering such intersection. Upon the determination and designation of such points at which vehicles will be required to come to a stop before entering the intersection, the proper authorities so determining and designating shall cause to be posted and maintained proper signs of the standard design adopted by the state department of transportation indicating that the intersection has been so determined and designated and that vehicles entering it are required to stop. It is unlawful for any person operating any vehicle when entering any intersection determined, designated, and bearing the required sign to fail and neglect to bring the vehicle to a complete stop before entering the intersection.

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