Police to Enforce Crosswalk Laws—Is Redmond Safe for Pedestrians?

Special patrols will target the downtown area on Sept. 18 and 25

plan extra enforcement of the state's crosswalk laws in the downtown area on Sept. 18 and 25, the department announced in a news release today.

Police spokesman Jim Bove said the department has targeted crosswalks before and opted to do a special patrol this month because school is back in session and the safety of student walkers is a regular concern.

Bove said summer is also when a lot of collisions or near-misses between pedestrians and vehicles occur, and this summer has been no different.

“We’ve had several during the summer, which is not uncommon just because there are more people out,” he said.

So far in 2012, Bove said, there have been seven collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles, and 13 between bicyclists and vehicles. For all of 2011, those numbers were 11 and 14, respectively.

In 2012, one pedestrian has been killed in Redmond and another was seriously injured. The  and involved an 83-year-old man who attempted to cross the street at night outside of a crosswalk. He was struck by a passenger car and died instantly.

In March, a 22-year-old pedestrian was  near the intersection of Northeast 85th Street and 164th Avenue Northeast. Police are still looking for the . 

Bove said there were no pedestrian fatalities in 2011.

According to RCW 46.61.235, drivers must stop for pedestrians who are "within an unmarked or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning."

Pedestrians are also not permitted to "move into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop."

The fine for failing to observe the crosswalk law is $124.

For more information, click here to read the full Redmond Police news release.


Do you think downtown Redmond is a safe and inviting place for pedestrians? Tell us in the comments section.


Editor's note: This story was revised on Sept. 12 to include statistics from the Redmond Police Department.

dorimonsonfan September 12, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Jim Bove is either being deceitful to justify this money grab, or is so out of touch with his police department that he may want to step down. He says "in 2012 at least one pedestrian was killed." Sooo, there may have been two or three, but you're not sure or you forget? I'd hope Jim if there were two you'd care enough about the families of all two of them to remember both. And the one death you speak of and actually remember was a very old man crossing a super long intersection in the middle of the night. In that case your department deemed that the driver did nothing wrong. So tell me honestly, is this about safety or $? Now everyone including myself is going to be jamming on the brakes if they see a pedestrian anywhere near an intersection, and we will have more collisions, as we saw with the red light cameras that were just removed for good reason.
Caitlin Moran September 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Whoa whoa whoa, dorimonsonfan. The phrasing you're referring to was my own. The reason I hedged that sentence by saying "at least one" is because RPD is still getting official stats for me, and I did not want to write something that would be in error. Is there another fatality you're thinking of? Also, the department has not "deemed the driver did nothing wrong" in the case that was mentioned. Last I checked, it is still being reviewed by prosecutors.
Caitlin Moran September 12, 2012 at 01:41 AM
By the way, in hindsight, I'll admit my wording was less than ideal, so if you want to critique *me* for that sentence, feel free.
dorimonsonfan September 12, 2012 at 02:45 AM
That was my bad. I quoted from a line that you didn't have in quotations. I guess I need to read more carefully. That said, I think the fatality at the 202 intersection was the only pedestrian killed in Redmond so far this year. I stand by my statement that this "patrol" is not about safety, but more about raising money for the city. Here's a link to the article that seems to indicate the driver in the one redmond pedestrian fatality was not at fault: http://redmond.patch.com/articles/pedestrian-killed-in-redmond-way-collision-witnessed-by-off-duty-police-officer
Caitlin Moran September 12, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Fair enough, dorimonsonfan. You reminded me that I had intended to include the fine amount in this post. It's $124 per citation and is now referenced above.
Melissa September 12, 2012 at 03:38 AM
As a resident of downtown and a fairly regular pedestrian and cyclist I say this is great! But it needs to be done more often and without warning. If it is about the money as dorimonsonfan states, that is no problem in my mind, and it's better for the safety of the area and for the bank account of the RPD. I see far too many drivers who do NOT stop for me with or without my children at many intersections in town. Including ones near the police station itself and the only one in town with flashing lights in the roadway (now tell me how people can regularly miss that one)! I see many drives who don't even see me in broad daylight because they are talking on their phones (which is another infraction). In fact, I hope very few people read this warning and drive the way they usually do, because only getting a ticket or two or killing someone will stop them. I am relieved to hear there are so few pedestrians killed here every year, but that is due more to the diligence on the part of pedestrians than on the part of drivers. And as the area grows and traffic gets worse the problem will only get worse without moves to enforce our laws. I think dorimonsonfan needs to get out from behind the wheel and walk around town more often s/he might just see there is a real need for this!!
dorimonsonfan September 12, 2012 at 04:20 AM
If redmond has had zero pedestrian fatalities and only one injury due to bad drivers this year it seems like we should solidify the message here: look both ways before crossing and you will be ok. If we start fostering this idea that everyone will be protected by mommy government, more people will feel empowered to cross the street without looking both ways. I have ridden my bike around redmond for years and never had any problems with drivers. I have however almost been nailed by a police car doing 70 in a 35 on their way to a minor fender bender.
Karen September 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I've always been perplexed by the phrasing of that law. If it's an "unmarked crosswalk" how do drivers know it's a crosswalk? I asked the state and person there told me it is any corner. But if I stop for a pedestrian on a random corner my odds of being hit by the car behind me are pretty good, since the driver won't know that is an "unmarked crosswalk."
Barb Taylor September 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM
How about keeping the cyclists off their bikesif they choose to use crosswalks. They make it very difficult for drivers to see them as they shoot into a crosswalk much faster than the pedestrians for whom which the crosswalks are designed for.
Catherine Wittel September 12, 2012 at 03:01 PM
If you get hit from behind, you probably are going to suffer less injury than if a pedestrian gets hit by a car. From early driver training classes, I have always known that every intersection is a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked. I'm almost 60 and I took driver training 45 years ago and haven't forgotten it. Stop for a pedestrian.
Melissa September 12, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Pedestrians should always look both ways yes. BUT when I am standing at a corner (crosswalk or no) I should not have to watch as a dozen cars fly past completely oblivious to my presence!!!! There are times I literally have to start waving my arms at oncoming traffic and pointing animatedly to the nearest pedestrian crosswalk sign which by law means STOP!!!! And even then I've seen a car or two look at me as if "What's your problem?" while still flying past!!!! Yes this happens quite frequently when I have young children with me!!!! This isn't about a nanny government, it is about drivers following the law that protects us ALL. But people seem to think that because they are sheltered in their steel boxes they can be blissfully ignorant of their responsibilities behind the wheel. And I feel the need to remind you that driving is a privilege it is NOT a right, walking however is a RIGHT!!!!
Melissa September 12, 2012 at 03:48 PM
As Catherine pointed out it is explained in the law that all intersections are crosswalks. All drivers should be aware that this is the law. And if they don't know that they should not be driving. If they can not or will not take their responsibility seriously they should not be allowed the privilege of driving. Pretending to be afraid of being rear ended is just an excuse to disobey the law.
Melissa September 12, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Cyclists in the state of Washington have the legal right to ride on the sidewalk (and crosswalks) as well as on the road. You are correct that cyclists on the sidewalk and crosswalks need to behave more like a pedestrian then a vehicle (as they should do on the road). But again drivers need to be aware of crosswalks and the fact that, as drivers they are legally bound to YIELD to anyone on a crosswalk or entering one. But the sad fact remains that a good percentage of them do NOT do so and put peoples lives in danger, hence the need for the RPD to enforce the law.
Karen September 12, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Then why not say "every intersection or marked crosswalk" and eliminate the ambiguity? Most people who drive around here did not grow up here. In Illinois we didn't have to stop for pedestrians.
dorimonsonfan September 12, 2012 at 04:16 PM
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. We have had one pedestrian fatality this year in Redmond. That one fatality was due to the pedestrian's lack of judgement and error. The driver did nothing wrong. Seems like Redmond could not be much safer for pedestrians. Yea, you may have to watch a couple cars go by with your kid in your arms once in a while, but is that really a huge problem? You may have just prevented a car with kids in it from getting plowed into from behind.
Silvia Dillon September 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
You all have very interesting comments. I drive and I am afraid to be rear ended when I stop at crosswalks as I notice that a lot of drivers are indeed on the phone while driving and I see a lot of people not respecting the speed limits. Anyway I just wanted to say: do we need a fatality (even one) to respect the law? For once it would be nice to see a law reinforced not because someone died but because it is right.
Mary Thompson September 12, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I hope to see drivers looking out for children, the elderly and those with developmental disabilities crossing the roads. Their judgement and reflexes may not be as good or as quick as needed for fast moving traffic, even if they do know how to appropriately and legally cross the street and have every right to do so. I myself have witnessed SEVERAL near misses in crosswalks around downtown Redmond and it worries me to consider that walking and Metro are and will remain my son's only modes of transportation. I am pleased to know that laws pertaining to sharing the road with pedestrians will be enforced. Drivers do need reminders to take care, especially when accustomed to driving in areas where they seldom encounter pedestrians.
susan mitchell September 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM
What gets me are the pedestrians who walk along talking on their cell phones and step off the curb into the crosswalk thinking they totally have the right to do so without looking and they almost get hit because of it. I hope the RPD writes them tickets too. It is especially bad on 83rd when they get off the bus and start walking and talking on their cells. As for the shots taken at RPD. Knock it off , they are only doing their job and trying to make Redmond safe for everyone. People always want to jump all over the police. You have no idea how hard their jobs are. Give em a break.
GlutenCaseinFree Customer September 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
It is broke and needs fixing, more than what they are doing. I have repeatedly been nearly struck crossing Redmond Way where 160th becomes Cleveland Street - WITH the crossing light AND the intersection is reasonably well lit. I always look for traffic and even when I have the light if there is a car approaching I wait until I can see that the driver sees me before I cross in front of them. The near misses indicate to me that people have too little respect for crosswalk laws, just like they have too little respect for red light laws. Personally I'd like to see both offenses ticketed by robo-camera with heavy fines and license revocation if offenses continue. The self-serving excuse that collisions will occur is fallacious - collisions only happen if the drivers are failing to follow yet further traffic safety laws, such as regarding tailgating. As a society we treat driving like a right rather than the highly dangerous privilege it is. Stiffer enforcement across the whole range of driving laws, standardization of those laws nationwide (e.g. in NYC there is no "free right on red") much more rigorous licensing and renewal standards are urgently needed to combat the steady devolution of our roadways toward a scene from Mad Max.
Caitlin Moran September 12, 2012 at 11:47 PM
FYI to those following this thread—RPD sent me stats today. In 2011, there were 11 collisions involving pedestrians and vehicles, and 14 with bicycles and vehicles. So far in 2012, there have been 7 ped vs. vehicle crashes, and 13 bicycles vs. vehicles. There were no pedestrian fatalities in 2011, and there has been 1 in 2012. I will be updating the story above with this information.
Caitlin Moran September 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM
And here's another tid-bit I just got from police—a city web page that pretty clearly defines where it's legal for pedestrians to cross. (Yes, "unmarked crosswalk" does mean every intersection.) http://redmond.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=33668
William October 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM
We need respect on both sides, a little community and empathy. One old dead guy was someone's relative, a friend. ;
William Arch-Jackson October 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM
We need respect on both sides, a little community and empathy. One old dead guy was someone's relative, a friend. ;


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