The traffic laws in Seattle apply to every vehicle on the road. While it is easy to assume that only full-size vehicles need to follow these rules, the fact is that even the operators of smaller vehicles, such as bicycles and motorcycles, must also comply. In addition, special rules apply to motorcycles that are not relevant to other vehicles.
It is important to follow Seattle motorcycle traffic laws for several reasons. Most obviously, they can help prevent stops from police officers that may force you to pay heavy fines or receive points on your license. Remaining in compliance with the law could also help refute allegations that you were to blame for accidents involving other vehicles. Overall, following the traffic rules for motorcycles in Seattle is essential for protecting your well-being and your finances. If you have been involved in a motorbike accident, contact an attorney at our firm to learn more about how motorcycle traffic laws may play a role in your case.
Rules of the Road that are Particular to Motorcyclists
A small subset of the Seattle traffic laws applies specifically to those on motorbikes. Some of these involve how a person on a motorcycle must interact with other vehicles. A common example is outlined by Revised Code of Washington § 46.61.608. This states that attempting to pass another vehicle without leaving one’s lane is illegal. Many people will recognize this behavior as lane splitting.
State law also dictates how bikers must ride their vehicles. RCW § 46.61.612 mandates that all riders must be on their bikes with one leg on each side of the vehicle. While this law is unlikely to play a role in any personal injury case resulting from an accident, it does give a police officer the right to pull over a biker and issue a ticket. An attorney could provide more information about these specific Seattle motorcycle traffic laws.
The Riders of Motorcycles Must be Sure to Follow all Common Traffic Laws
Even though specific laws regarding motorcycles exist, riders must adhere to all other relevant road rules as well. These include speed limits, prohibitions on cell phone use while riding, stopping at red lights, and yielding when signs require.
Following relevant traffic laws is vital to protecting oneself and others. It may also help bikers prove that another driver’s negligence was the reason for a crash. RCW § 4.22.005 is the state’s rule concerning comparative negligence. In short, it states that a defendant facing allegations of negligence for an accident may raise evidence that a victim did not do all that they could to prevent their own injuries. A biker who failed to signal a turn, was tailgating, or violated any other common traffic law may damage their case by breaking these laws. As a result, complying with all Seattle motorcycle traffic laws helps riders protect their legal rights in the event of an accident.
Contact an Attorney to Learn More About Seattle Motorcycle Traffic Laws
Following traffic regulations is important for several reasons. Adherence keeps police officers from having justification for making a traffic stop. It also helps clarify that another traveler was liable for a collision that caused injuries. Most importantly, it helps keep you and those around you safe.
Talking with a motorcycle accident lawyer could help you better understand the Seattle motorcycle traffic laws and how they affect your legal rights if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. Contact our firm today to learn more.