Jaywalkers, beware. You too, drivers who nearly take out packs of kids or a lone walker as you plow through busy intersections. Police officers and sheriff's...

Share story

Jaywalkers, beware. You too, drivers who nearly take out packs of kids or a lone walker as you plow through busy intersections.

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies throughout King County will have their eyes peeled this month for motorists and pedestrians who ignore pedestrian traffic laws as part of a public-safety campaign.

More than 300 pedestrians were killed and 2,106 seriously injured throughout King County between 1993 and 2002, according to county statistics. More than 1,000 pedestrians died throughout the state during the same period, with 5,120 requiring hospitalization for their injuries.

Here’s a quick state-law refresher course for those of you who last thought about these rules while waiting to take your driver’s test at the Department of Motor Vehicles:

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

• WALK or the walking-person symbol mean just that. Pedestrians should start crossing an intersection in the direction of the signal during this time, and state law requires motorists to wait for them. DON’T WALK or the red hand mean just that as well, as in don’t leave the sidewalk until the next time it says WALK. Ignore this and it could net you a $46 fine, or $153 if it turns out you’re the cause of a collision, said Bellevue police Officer Michael Chiu.

• Whether it’s a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, motorists should stop and remain stopped to let people or bikes cross the street when they are traveling on the same half of the street and within a lane away. While a car is waiting, it’s against the law for another motorist to pass it (and travel on through the crosswalk). Doing so could net a $101 ticket, Chiu said.

Dear Reader

Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to us by e-mail, east@seattletimes.com; by fax, 425-453-0449; by mail, The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004.

• If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist, do not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety. If you’re trying to cross anyplace other than an intersection or marked crosswalk, it’s your responsibility to yield to traffic.

• It’s illegal for a pedestrian to walk in the road when there’s a sidewalk available. If the sidewalk provides no wheelchair access, however, disabled people are allowed to use the road until they reach an access point. • Pedestrians and cyclists always have the right of way on a sidewalk, although cyclists must yield to pedestrians. But emergency vehicles using their sirens or flashing their lights trump everyone else — get out of the way.

Lately it seems we keep hearing about elderly folks who are hit by cars while crossing busy roads, usually at night, often dressed in dark clothes. It may seem silly to pull on a white or bright windbreaker or a yellow cap or a reflective vest, but making yourself more visible could save your life.

Next week we’ll answer some of your more-pedestrian questions.

Early warning

Drivers should expect nightly closures along Interstate 405 of up to three lanes in both directions, beginning at 8 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. each day.

Expect periodic, daily lane closures each weekday along 148th Avenue Southeast between Southeast 24th Street and Southeast 28th Street because of construction.

On Monday, Interstate 90’s eastbound carpool lane and adjacent general-purpose lane will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the Eastgate area so crews can prepare the freeway for the upcoming construction of a new offramp for buses. On Tuesday, the two right lanes on eastbound I-90 will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or kgaudette@seattletimes.com