Seattle speed limit changes for safer streets

The recent changes to the Seattle speed limit have been a long time coming, but are just an incremental step in a larger plan for safer streets.  The process of setting speed limits for streets and highways is surprisingly complex. Maximum speeds are set by each state legislature, which must balance the interests of stakeholders statewide. The social costs and benefits of lower speeds often lose in a head-to-head competition the economic and political benefits of higher speed limits. Historically, lawmakers have prioritized speed over safety. The consequences have been deadly. “U.S. streets have long been designed to promote speed at all costs, with deadly consequences” Linda Bailey, Executive Director of NACTO The irrefutable fact is that excessive speed causes more

What you need to know about Washington State Crosswalk Law

One of the few bright spots in the COVID-19 pandemic: a decrease in motor vehicle traffic. As more people explored their cities and towns on foot, they may have noticed that our streets are primarily designed for cars—not for people. The real solution to that problem lies in city planning. As a lawyer, I can only address it as it relates to Washington State Law. Summary of Washington State Crosswalk Law Every intersection is a crosswalk, unless there are posted signs. Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at every crosswalk, marked or unmarked. Here’s the full text of the Washington State crosswalk law, RCW 46.61.235 (in italics), with my interpretation and comments included. Crosswalks. (1) The operator

Washington State legal help and resources available during COVID-19 pandemic

The Washington State Bar Association created a full list of legal help, resources and information available during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are sharing the full version of their recent post, COVID-19 Legal Resources and Information for the Public so that our Coluccio Law clients and friends can access and share this valuable resource. Washington State Legal Help Free Civil Legal Help Beyond King County Call CLEAR toll-free at 888-201-1014 or apply online for certain types of cases. The line is open weekdays 9:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Visit Northwest Justice Project for any changes to the CLEAR hours of operations due to COVID-19. Communities Rise provides pro bono legal representation for nonprofits and small business owners on legal transactional matters through direct representation, legal clinics, and

New “cover your load” commercial truck law proposed for 2020

On February 22, 2004, Maria Federici was blinded and nearly killed by a piece of particle board that flew out of a rented trailer, struck her windshield and hit her in the face. The driver of the vehicle pulling the trailer had been moving all day, and failed to properly secure the particle board in the trailer. At the time, there was no law addressing the consequences of poorly secured loads. The driver was merely cited for a traffic infraction and paid a small fine. Because of her daughter’s life-changing injuries and the lack of laws protecting the general public from unsecured loads, Maria’s mother, Robin Abel, became an activist for safety laws and began a fight for new and

A fair fix to Washington State wrongful death law

Legal definition of wrongful death: “Wrongful death” is the legal term for an unnatural death, resulting from an injury or incident, caused by the bad conduct of another person or a company. In 2019, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill for a new wrongful death law by a vote of 61-37. The bill, SB 5163, will erase the current provision in Washington State law that barred most parents from bringing claims for the wrongful death of an adult child. The bill also removes the requirement that parents or family members must live in the U.S. to be eligible to make a wrongful death claim. SB 5163, passed by the state Senate in March 2019, will officially become the law

What you need to know about our pedestrian traffic laws

It seems straightforward: people usually have the right-of-way over motor vehicles. But most of our roadways were designed for the ease of cars, not the safety of pedestrians. As a result, drivers often forget—or simply disregard—the laws protecting the rights and safety of pedestrians. Washington pedestrian traffic laws Q: When do pedestrians have the right-of-way? A: Pedestrians have the right-of-way at all crosswalks. Since every intersection is a crosswalk, drivers must stop for pedestrians if there are no traffic signals. If another vehicle is yielding to a pedestrian at an intersection, don’t try to pass them. The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when


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