New and revised traffic laws for 2020

  • Thu Jan 2nd, 2020 11:36am
  • News

Child restraint law (RCW 46.61.687):

• Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.

• Children 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 ft. 9 in. tall must be secured in a booster seat with seat belt (or continue in harness seat).

• Children over 4 ft. 9 in. tall must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt.

• Children under age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so.

Learn more at

Also, in response to an alarming trend of increasing pedestrian fatalities across the US, WA State has legislated safety responsibilities for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle drivers.

For Pedestrians:

Pedestrians and wheelchair operators to use sidewalks when available (RCW 46.61.250)

For cyclists:

Cyclists going slower than traffic to stay right, or left on one-way road (RCW 46.61.770)

For vehicles:

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 (RCW 46.61.110, 46.61.180/185/190/205, and 46.61.145, and respectively). Defined in RCW 46.61.526(11)(c), “Vulnerable user of a public way” means: i. A pedestrian; ii. A person riding an animal; or iii. A person operating any of the following on a public way: A. A farm tractor or implement of husbandry, without an enclosed shell; B. A bicycle; C. An electric-assisted bicycle; D. An electric personal assistive mobility device; E. A moped; F. A motor-driven cycle; G. A motorized foot scooter; or H. A motorcycle.

The single greatest common factor in all public way collisions is impairment. National statistics show that nearly half of all vehicle collisions involve impairment, and in a third of pedestrian-involved collisions, the pedestrian had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 g/dL or higher. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2016 Data: Pedestrians. S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2018. Available at