A local Retro-Modern bike shop in West Seattle.    RideYourBike.com    

Washington's Laws Regarding Bicycles

from the Revised Code of Washington          King County Helmet Law


Scroll to the bottom of the above link for the bicycle part.
46.04.071 Bicycle.
"Bicycle" means every device propelled solely by human power upon which a person or persons may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is sixteen or more inches in diameter, or three wheels, any one of which is more than twenty inches in diameter.

46.61.160 Restrictions on use of limited-access highway--Use by bicyclists.
The department of transportation may by order, and local authorities may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any limited access highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit the use of any such highway by funeral processions, or by parades, pedestrians, bicycles or other nonmotorized traffic, or by any person operating a motor-driven cycle. Bicyclists may use the right should of limited access highways except where prohibited. The department of transportation may by order, and local authorities may by ordinance or resolution, with respect to any limited-access highway under their respective jurisdictions prohibit the use of the shoulders of any such highway by bicycles within urban areas or upon other sections of the highway where such use is deemed to be unsafe.

The department of transportation or the local authority adopting any such prohibitory regulation shall erect and maintain official traffic control devices on the limited access roadway on which such regulations are applicable, and when so erected no person may disobey the restrictions stated on such devices.

46.61.750 Effect of regulations--Penalty.
(1) It is a traffic infraction for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780.
(2) These regulations applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any bicycle path, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

46.61.755 Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in RCW 46.61.750 through 46.61.780 and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

46.61.758 Hand signals.
All hand signals required of persons operating bicycles shall be given in the following manner:
(1) Left turn. Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle;
(2) Right turn. Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the side of the bicycle, or right hand and arm extended horizontally to the right side of the bicycle;
(3) Stop or decrease speed. Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the side of the bicycle.
The hand signals required by this section shall be given before initiation of a turn.

46.61.760 Riding on bicycles.
(1) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(2) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

46.61.765 Clinging to vehicles.
No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

46.61.770 Riding upon roadways and bicycle paths.
(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.
(2) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

46.61.775 Carrying articles.
No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.

46.61.780 Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.
(1) every bicycle when in use during the hours of darkness as defined in RCW 46.37.020 shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the state patrol which shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. A light-emitting diode flashing taillight visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may also be used in addition to the red reflector.
(2) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Other laws that bicyclists may find interesting & useful:

RCW 46.37.380 Horns, warning devices, and theft alarms.
(1) Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than two hundred feet, but no horn or other warning device may emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a highway.
(2) No vehicle may be equipped with nor may any person use upon a vehicle any siren, whistle, or bell, except as otherwise permitted in this section.
(3) It is permissible for any vehicle to be equipped with a theft alarm signal device so long as it is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an ordinary warning signal. Such a theft alarm signal device may use a whistle, bell, horn, or other audible signal but shall not use a siren.
(4) Any authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, whistle, or bell capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than five hundred feet and of a type conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol, but the siren shall not be used except when the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which latter events the driver of the vehicle shall sound the siren when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of its approach.

The Seattle Municipal Code extends the state law to city streets and alleys

SMC 11.84.320 Horns and warning devices.
Every motor vehicle when operated upon a street shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under conditions of no background noise from a distance of not less than two hundred feet (200'), but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound which exceeds eighty-five (85) dB(a) at two hundred feet (200'). The driver of a motor vehicle shall when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation give audible warning with his horn but shall not otherwise use such horn when upon a street or alley. (RCW 46.37.380)

RCW 46.61.235 Crosswalks.
(1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section "half of the roadway" means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.
(2) No pedestrian or bicycle shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply under the conditions stated in RCW 46.61.240(2).
(4) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

RCW 46.61.261 Sidewalks, crosswalks Pedestrians, bicycles.
The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian or bicycle on a sidewalk. The rider of a bicycle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or crosswalk.

RCW 46.61.770 Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.
(1) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place shall ride as near to the right side of the right through lane as is safe except as may be appropriate while preparing to make or while making turning movements, or while overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway or highway other than a limited-access highway, which roadway or highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near to the left side of the left through lane as is safe. A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway may use the shoulder of the roadway or any specially designated bicycle lane if such exists.
(2) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

[Home]

5