Maximum Speed Limits.
Except where a special hazard exists that requires a lower speed limit and as specified below, speed limits are set at:
When a local authority determines, based on an engineering and traffic investigation, that the maximum speed permitted on a roadway within its jurisdiction is greater or less than is reasonable and safe for a highway or part of a highway, the local authority may set a reasonable and safe maximum speed limit that:
Local authorities must determine, through the use of an engineering and traffic investigation, the proper maximum speed for all arterial streets within their jurisdiction, which may be greater or less than the maximum speed permitted, but which may not exceed 60 mph. Arterial roads include the interstate system, freeways, multi-lane highways, and roads that connect principal urbanized areas, cities, and industrial centers. "Local authorities" includes every county, municipal, and other local public board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations.
Cities or towns may establish a maximum speed of 20 mph on a non-arterial or part of a non-arterial highway (a local or collector street) that is within a residential or business district. Cities or towns do not need to select a maximum speed based on an engineering and traffic investigation if the city or town has developed procedures for establishing a maximum speed limit. Any speed limit established for a non-arterial highway may be removed within one year and the previous speed limit reestablished without an engineering and traffic investigation. Cities and towns must consult the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as adopted by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
When the WSDOT determines, based on an engineering and traffic investigation, that any maximum speed on a state highway is greater than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at an intersection or on any other part of the state highway system or at state ferry terminals, the WSDOT may declare a reasonable and safe lower maximum speed limit.
Pedestrian Traffic Regulation.
Where sidewalks are provided and are accessible, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk or otherwise move along and on an adjacent roadway. When sidewalks are not provided or are inaccessible, a pedestrian walking or moving along and on a highway is required to:
Automated Traffic Safety Cameras.
The use of automated traffic safety cameras is permitted at red light intersections that meet minimum yellow change interval requirements, at railroad crossings, and in school speed zones, if the following criteria are met:
The use of automated traffic safety cameras to detect speed violations is highly restricted (with the exception of cameras in school speed zones), and must meet the following criteria:
Currently, only one camera meets these requirements, and it is located in the City of Tacoma.
With the exception of the camera located in the City of Tacoma, automated traffic safety cameras may only be located:
A pilot program is in effect through June 30, 2023, which authorizes cities with populations greater than 500,000 people to adopt an ordinance authorizing the use of automated traffic safety cameras to detect one or more of the following violations:
Stopping at intersection or crosswalk violations may only be enforced at the 20 intersections where the city would most like to address safety concerns related to these violations.
The use of automated traffic safety cameras for the pilot program is limited to the following locations:
The authority to establish a maximum speed limit of 20 mph on a non-arterial highway or part of a non-arterial highway is extended from cities and towns to all local authorities, and from applying only to non-arterial highways in residential and business districts to applying to all non-arterial highways.
The WSDOT may establish a maximum speed limit of 20 mph on a non-arterial state highway, or part of a non-arterial state highway, without making a determination based on an engineering and traffic investigation, subject to requirements for doing so that apply to local authorities.
When walking or moving along and on an adjacent roadway, a pedestrian is required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a vehicle on the roadway.
Rules relating to the use of sidewalks, shoulders, and the outside edge of a roadway by a pedestrian do not apply when a roadway is closed to vehicular traffic through the placement of official traffic control devices that restrict its use to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Automated traffic safety cameras may be used to detect speed violations on any roadway in a school walk area. A school "walk area" is defined as the area around a school with an adequate roadway configuration to provide students access to school with a walking distance of less than 1 mile, with mileage measured along the shortest roadway or maintained public walkway where hazardous conditions (including roadway, environmental, and social conditions) are not present.