Drivers

Stickman Knows

By exercising some caution and extending some common courtesies, tragedies can be avoided. The following tips should help drivers, bikers and walkers share the road and get where they’re going safely.

Overview

As drivers, we must be extra cautious as we navigate the streets of Spokane County.  Pedestrians and bicyclist aren't always aware of their surroundings and may not use the right-of-way rules.  Therefore, to avoid an accident, buckle up and watch Stickman's auto safety video, then review the informative tips below.


Stickman Knows How to Be a Safe Driver


Top Safety Tips

tip11_161121_084502.png#asset:40981.  Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks.                      
tip21_161121_084757.png#asset:40992.  Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.          
tip31_161121_084854.png#asset:41003.  Yield to pedestrians and cyclists when turning.     
tip41_161121_085021.png#asset:4101  4.  Look before opening your door.                                   
tip51.png#asset:40395.  Be careful when passing stopped vehicles.            
tip61_161121_090058.png#asset:41026.  Allow 3 feet when passing bicyclists.                      

“Drivers are reminded to turn on vehicle headlights at dusk and be vigilant in looking out for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Photo credit: Melbourne Herald Sun

Did you know?

In Spokane County:

  • When a motorist collides with a pedestrian the main reason is failure to yield to the right of way to the pedestrian. 6
  • When a motorist collides with a bicyclist, the primary reasons are fail to yield to the right of way to the bicyclist and inattention of the driver.
  • Since January 1, 2011, Spokane police have issued 709 tickets for cellphone use and texting.

In Washington State:

  • Since texting and cellphone use became primary offenses—law enforcement stop motorists for use—the Washington State Patrol issued 27 tickets for texting in Eastern Washington and 374 for cellphone use. 10
  • Statewide, the number of tickets increased fivefold since cellphone and texting violations became primary offenses. Troopers issued 6,850 citations for cellphones and 549 for text messages in the 11 months ending May 15, 2010.
  • In 2010, there were 265,003 speeding citations in the state. 9
  • In 2010, there were 19,669 DUI arrests in the state. 9

Resources:

1 SRTC Collision Data, Spokane County, 2007-2009

2 Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS), Spokane County, 2000-2009

3 Emergency Room Data, Spokane County, 2003-2009

4 SRTC, Non-motorized Transport Survey, 2010

5 SRTC Bike and Pedestrian Collision Map, Spokane County, 2007-2009

6 WSDOT Collision Data, Spokane County, 2006-2009

7www.safekids.org

8 NHTSA's 2009 Traffic Safety Facts

9Washington State Patrol 2010 Annual Report

10 Washington State Patrol. For period ending May 15, 2011


Photo courtesy of www.spokesman.com

Vehicle Laws

Right-of-Way

  • The law says who must yield the right-of-way, it does not give anyone the right-of-way. You must do everything you can to prevent striking a pedestrian, on foot or in a wheelchair, or another vehicle, regardless of the circumstances.
  • Always be ready to yield to pedestrians in case they step into your path.
  • A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection must yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway.
  • Drivers turning left must yield to oncoming vehicles, and pedestrians and bicyclists.

Driver Distractions

  • You cannot use an electronic wireless-communications (cellphone) device to send, read, or write a text message while operating a motor vehicle.
  • You cannot hold a wireless communications (cellphone) device to your ear while operating a motor vehicle.

Sharing Space

  • All bicyclists have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities of a motor vehicle driver. Motorists and riders who don't obey traffic laws can be ticketed.
  • Bicycle lanes are marked with solid white lines.
  • Drivers crossing a sidewalk must yield to bicyclists on the sidewalk.
  • Allow at least three feet of space when overtaking or passing a bicycle.
  • If parked at a curb, look before you open any door in the path of a car, bicycle, or pedestrian.
  • Bicyclists have the choice to ride on the roadway, on the shoulder of a road, in a bicycle lane, or on a sidewalk (where permitted).
  • Bicyclists ride with the flow of traffic and as near to the right side of the road as is safe. Riders may move left before and during turns, or when passing another bicycle or vehicle.
  • Bicycle riders should use hand signals before turning.

More information found here:

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