Drivers may be familiar with the idea that they have to stop for pedestrians crossing the road at marked crosswalks, but many do not realize that they are also required to yield right-of-way to pedestrians at ‘unmarked crosswalks.’ In Washington, as in most states, all intersections of streets are normally considered to represent crosswalks, even when there are no painted crosswalk lines.
At these ‘unmarked crosswalks,’ it is legal for pedestrians to cross; motorists are required to come to a complete stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway. The pedestrian is still required to exercise “due care for her/his safety,” however, and cannot lawfully step out in front of a car when a driver would not have time to stop.
A summary of Washington’s pedestrian law states the following:
“Vehicles shall stop at intersections to allow pedestrians and bicycles to cross the road within a marked or unmarked crosswalk.” See RCW 46.61.235 for complete details.
Pedestrians are not ‘jaywalking’ at such crossings, and motorists should therefore yield to any pedestrian trying to cross. The City of Lacey encourages both motorists and pedestrians to stay alert, put safety first, and exercise tolerance in all interactions with each other.