State sets new traffic laws for 2020

Washington state roadway users have a few new laws to be aware of for 2020.

In the state’s updated child restraint law (RCW 46.61.687), children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children of ages 2-4 must be properly secured in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing)

Children 4 and older and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall must be secured in a booster seat with seat belt or continue in a harness seat, while children taller than 4-9 tall must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt.

Youths under age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so, the state law stipulates

Local law enforcement officials note that in response to an alarming trend of increasing pedestrian fatalities across the nation, Washington state has legislated safety responsibilities for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle drivers:

• Pedestrians and wheelchair operators are required to use sidewalks when available.

• Cyclists going slower than traffic to stay right, or left on one-way road.

• The new law has increased penalties for vehicles passing on the left, failing to yield and following too closely when the violation involves a vulnerable user of public way; a “vulnerable user of public way” is defined as: a pedestrian; a person riding an animal, or a person operating any of the following on a public way: farm tractor or implement of husbandry without an enclosed shell; bicycle; electric-assisted bicycle; electric personal assistive mobility device; moped; motor-driven cycle; motorized foot scooter, or a motorcycle.

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