WA Safety Laws
Like any other state, there are road signs and safety laws in Washington that all drivers must be familiar with and follow exactly. Not following these signs and rules can create problems for you in terms of penalties, but can also cause you to put yourself and other drivers, as well as pedestrians and your passengers at risk. To find a rundown of these Washington safety laws and road signs, you could use 4DMV.com, which will also direct you to the right sources for this information.
The most need-to-know laws for traffic safety in Washington are covered below, giving you a bit of knowledge you need to bring to the Washington streets.
Washington Helmet Law
When it comes to helmets, they are proven to protect from fatal injuries that are most likely to occur while operating some sort of motor bike or bicycle. For this reason, it is only logical that the state makes sure that its residents are fully protected with regulations to ensure that the appropriate equipment is always in use.
Motorcycle operators in Washington are always required to wear a helmet if:
· Operating the bike on public roads.
There is no exception, regardless of your age. If you are caught without your helmet on, you will be ticketed and fined, and could even lose your motorcycle operation rights.
If you are riding a bike, however, you must check with your municipality in order to determine whether a helmet is required.
Washington Headlights Laws
When it comes to vehicles, there are certain times when it is pertinent that your headlights should be on. In Washington, there are times when your headlights are actually required to be turned on at specific times:
- 30 minutes after sunset until no less than 30 minutes before sunrise
- When extreme weather conditions impair vision and causes a hazard
When it comes to motorcycles in Washington, headlights during the day are required and must be in use during even the brightest daylight hours.
Texting and Talking on Your Cell while Driving
It has become a priority with DMV’s and State Patrols all throughout the country to eliminate and prevent dangers caused by texting or talking on a cell phone while driving as it is a dangerous practice that can cause risk of traffic accidents.
Washington’s cell phone restrictions include:
- A ban from use of any hand-held cell phone while driving for all drivers, no matter what age.
- If you have a hands-free phone, it can be used as long as you aren’t holding it or using it in a distracting manner.
- You are also banned from any and all cell phone use, even hands-free, if you are a driver with a learner’s permit or an intermediate license.
If you are wondering whether texting falls into these restrictions, there is another ban against texting, which restricts all drivers, no matter what age and what type of license is held, from texting while driving in Washington.
Child Car Seat Laws in Washington
There are various laws concerning child vehicle safety restraint in Washington aimed to keep child passengers as safe as possible.
- Children aged 1 and under weighing 20 or fewer pounds are required to ride in rear-facing federally approved child restraint safety seat whenever the vehicle is in operation.
- Children aged 1 to 4 weighing between 20 and 40 pounds are required to be securely fastened within forward-facing child restraint safety seat whenever vehicle is in operation.
- Children aged 4 to 6 weighing 40 to 60 pounds are required to be securely fastened in federally approved booster seat any time vehicle is in operation.
- Children aged 6 and older weighing 60 or more pounds are required to be securely fastened in vehicle seat belt or a federally approved by weight booster seat any time vehicle is in operation.
If you don’t have a car seat yet and want to find the best and safest options, take a look at what is offered online through various sources for great low prices.
Reporting Other Drivers
If you see a driver flying down the highway, swerving, seeming to be intoxicated or just making very poor decisions, you can:
· call 911 or 1-800-28DRUNK.
You should provide any and all information about the vehicle that you can, which should include the current location and the direction of the driver, the license plate number of the vehicle, as well as a description including make and model. You should never attempt to apprehend or stop a driver yourself.
Unattended Children in Vehicle
If you see that someone has left a child in the vehicle alone, you should definitely do your part for the safety of the child and contact law enforcement. It is a misdemeanor in Washington for any child under the age of 16 to be left alone in a vehicle with the engine running. License revocation is possible after subsequent violations of the driver.
Unattended Pets in Vehicle
While a lot of people carry their pets around and occasionally have to leave them in the vehicle to run in a non-pet friendly store or shop, it is never safe or right to leave a vehicle closed up in a vehicle when their health and safety is at risk.
If you come across a vehicle that has a pet inside who shows signs of heat distress or other health issues due to being in the vehicle, give the local animal control unit or Washington State Patrol a call immediately and stick around the vehicle until they arrive.