Rules of the Road: Who yields at Bakerview I-5 entrance?

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 9, 2014 

Question: Getting on Interstate 5 southbound at West Bakerview Road there is a sign for vehicles turning right to yield to vehicles turning left. What is the rule here? Are cars entering the freeway with a right turn supposed to stop traffic so a vehicle in the oncoming, left-turn lane can make their turn?

Answer: The rule is the vehicle with the yield sign must yield to other traffic.

If there is a car making the left turn from Bakerview to enter the freeway, you must yield to it. If the car is waiting for the eastbound traffic (straight-through lane) to clear prior to making the left turn, you do not need to stop or yield until it is clear for that vehicle to proceed.

This falls under RCW 46.61.190, Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection: (3) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and if required for safety to stop ... and then after slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways: PROVIDED, That if such a driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection or junction of roadways, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right-of-way.

Q: I live in an unincorporated town on Silver Lake Road. Trucks hauling rock from the quarry up the street have taken to using their compression brakes right in front of our houses (houses here are 50 to 150 feet from the street).

It's bad enough now being inside with the windows closed, and in summer it's going to be gruesome. Do we have any protection from the truckers using their compression brakes near our homes?

A: I wish I could say yes, but I was unable to find any restrictions on the use of compression brakes outside of the incorporated cities. Almost all of the cities in Whatcom County have passed ordinances limiting the use of compression brakes, but that is all. I am not sure if the County Council would be willing or able to address the issue or not.

ABOUT RULES OF THE ROAD

Rules of the Road is a regular column with questions and answers on road laws, safe driving habits and general police practices.

Answers come from David Wright, a retired officer from the Bellingham Police Department who is now serving on the Whatcom County Traffic Safety Task Force.

For previous Rules of the Road columns or to ask a question, go to bellinghamherald.com/traffic.

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