Question: : I have heard that it is illegal to help a person stuck on the side of the road. For instance, if their car has become stuck in a ditch or in the snow and you use your vehicle and a tow rope to pull them out. Is this true?
Answer: I don't know of any specific laws that would make it illegal to assist. I would mention some issues to think about before you do. Is the driver stuck because they were driving impaired? Would you really like to put them back on the road? Are you going to create a greater danger by having to block the roadway while you are trying to pull them out without having any way to warn traffic? Are you willing to accept the liability of damaging either their vehicle or your vehicle while trying to help them? Are you willing to accept the liability of causing a crash while you are pulling them out?
Q: Is it illegal to drive a vehicle barefoot?
A: I did not find any law in the Revised Code of Washington that prohibits barefoot driving.
Q: I always stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk but recently wondered if they are to obey stop signs. Example: Williams Street is nonstop with the exception of the Monroe intersection. The other crosses have stops. Is the pedestrian allowed to just continue even though they have a stop sign and the driver on Williams, who doesn't have to stop, must stop?
A: Yes, the driver must stop for a person using or waiting to use the crosswalk. The stop signs are for the vehicular traffic on the street. The pedestrian does have the requirement to make sure the driver has time to see him/her and stop before stepping off the curb.
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Rules of the Road is an online forum with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices. To ask a question, use this form.
David Wright is a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.