Washington State University Crosswalk Safety

Washington State Crosswalk Laws for Pedestrians:

RCW 46.61.050 Obedience to Traffic Control Devices

Every pedestrian shall obey the instruction of any official traffic control device.


Walk” – When displayed it is legal to cross the roadway.

Do not walk” – Signal flashes to advise pedestrians in the road to finish crossing.  It is not legal or safe to enter the roadway on a flashing or solid “Do no walk” display.
RCW 46.61.240 Crossing at other than crosswalks
  • Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles.
  • No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally, unless authorized by traffic control device
RCW 46.61.235 Crosswalks

No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk, run, or otherwise move into the pasth a a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.

Washington State’s crosswalk law (RCW 46.61.235) says:

  • Drivers must stop if a pedestrian is in their half of the roadway:
    crosswalk-law-one
  • Drivers must stop if a pedestrian is within one lane of their half of the roadway:
    crosswalk-law-two
  • Once the pedestrian is beyond one lane of their half of the roadway, drivers may go:
    crosswalk-law-three

It is important to note again that ALL INTERSECTIONS ARE LEGAL CROSSINGS FOR PEDESTRIANS whether they are marked with crosswalk markings, or not.