Ever wonder what to do when a stoplight is broken or malfunctioning? Washington law provides that a light without power, or that is not showing any lights, should be treated as an all-way stop sign.
Also, if you are a cyclist, on a moped, or on a motorcycle and come to a light that is triggered by a vehicle sensor, you may experience times when the sensor will not register the bike or motorcycle due to weight, size, or material. In a relatively new law, Washington allows cyclists, moped riders, and motorcyclists in this situation to proceed through the light with due care after the light has failed to turn green for a full cycle of the light. This does not allow you to blindly run a red light, though. Operators of these vehicles must come to a complete stop and wait a full cycle of the lights before determining the sensor has not been triggered. If the light does not, in fact, have a vehicle sensor that did not work, and you proceed against the red light, you can still be cited for running the light, so be sure to be sure!
RCW 46.61.183: Nonfunctioning signal lights.
Except when directed to proceed by a flagger, police officer, or firefighter, the driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic control signal that is temporarily without power on all approaches or is not displaying any green, red, or yellow indication to the approach the vehicle is on, shall consider the intersection to be an all-way stop. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way in accordance with RCW 46.61.180(1) and 46.61.185.
RCW 46.61.184: Bicycle, moped, or street legal motorcycle at intersection with inoperative vehicle detection device.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the operator of a bicycle, moped, or street legal motorcycle approaching an intersection, including a left turn intersection, that is controlled by a triggered traffic control signal using a vehicle detection device that is inoperative due to the size or composition of the bicycle, moped, or street legal motorcycle shall come to a full and complete stop at the intersection. If the traffic control signal, including the left turn signal, as appropriate, fails to operate after one cycle of the traffic signal, the operator may, after exercising due care, proceed directly through the intersection or proceed to turn left, as appropriate. It is not a defense to a violation of RCW 46.61.050 that the operator of a bicycle, moped, or motorcycle proceeded under the belief that a traffic control signal used a vehicle detection device or was inoperative due to the size or composition of the bicycle, moped, or motorcycle when the signal did not use a vehicle detection device or that any such device was not in fact inoperative due to the size or composition of the bicycle, moped, or motorcycle. For purposes of this section, “bicycle” includes a bicycle, as defined in RCW 46.04.071, and an electric-assisted bicycle, as defined in RCW46.04.169.
Personal Injury Attorney Mat Parke
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need personal injury attorney Mat Parke on your side. Mat Parke is a Harvard law grad with years of experience helping Spokane clients. The law office of Mat Parke believes every client deserves top-tier representation. Contact the law firm of Parke Gordon Law Firm for a free consultation. This is your opportunity to discuss your car accident case with an attorney free of charge. Call our Spokane law office today at (509) 482-7274.
You Pay Nothing Until We Win Your Case