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Do people need to obey traffic control devices in Washington?

traffic light.jpgA lot of planning and thought goes into how road, streets and highways are developed and made in Washington State. The roadway system is a complex network of larger and smaller roadways that help people get from place to place. In order to ensure that people are safe as possible while traveling on these roads, a variety of traffic laws are in place to control the flow of traffic.

One of the most common traffic control devices are traffic signals. These lights let the cars approaching intersections know whether or not they have the right-of-way to travel through the intersection. As most people understand, when a car has a red light that means the car should stop.

Under Washington laws, every person should obey a traffic control device. Under these laws, pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers all need to obey traffic signals. When anyone sees a red light they need to stop and wait until they have the right-of-way again.

The only exception to this rule is granted to emergency vehicles. Additionally, if a driver, or other person, is directed by a law enforcement official to ignore a traffic control device, then it is permitted.

However, as many Washington residents understand, many drivers fail to follow traffic control devices. For example, this blog recently highlighted the story of a driver that caused a serious car accident after running a red light.

When a driver chooses to ignore traffic laws, that driver may be negligent. A negligent driver may be held responsible for any damages related to a car accident caused by that driver. An attorney can help people understand their specific legal rights following a serious car accident.

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