House Bill 1018 adds responsibilities to both drivers and bicyclists

Washington House Bill 1018 which is sponsored by Representative Jamie Pederson, D-Seattle, seeks to add new sections to the Washington State Vehicle Code RCW 46.61 and to recodify two existing sections: RCW 46.61.755 and 46.61.770.

The proposed new section is an attempt to reduce car and bicycle accidents. The section clarifies responsibilities of both bicyclists and motorists.

Section 46.61.755 would be amended to include the following:

  • Bicyclists shall have same rights and duties as a motorist on a roadway.
  • Bicyclists on sidewalks, crosswalks or multi-use trail shall yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian, however, the pedestrian should exercise due care.

Section 46.61.770 would be amended with language that tells motorists to give bicyclists more room and drive at a safe distance away from bicyclists and pedestrians and not to honk at them. Language was also added that tells bicyclists that when they are traveling at speeds slower than motorists, they should right in the designated bicycle lane or as close to the curb as is safe.

In 2009, there were 630 bicyclists killed in accidents with motor vehicles. This was the lowest number of fatal bicycle accidents since 1975. The wider use of helmets is one reason for the reduction in deaths; helmet use reduces the risk of a head injury by 85%. 36% of bicycle deaths occurred in intersections according to data collected by the Federal Accident Reporting System.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in bicycle accidents and the family of those who were killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.