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Understanding Washington Parking Laws

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Parking Lot

As Washington drivers, it is our responsibility to follow applicable traffic laws and keep our roads safe. However, many drivers can overlook the important role that parking laws play in maintaining traffic safety. When you are looking for a place to park while driving in Washington, make sure to keep these key parking laws in mind.

What Curbs Can You Park at in Washington State?

Whenever you are looking for a place to park, it is advisable to choose a designated parking area or marked stalls. Do not park in a handicapped spot unless you have a handicapped placard.

However, if these options are not available, you can park alongside certain curbs. Whenever you are parking on Washington roads, ensure that your vehicle is on the right side of the street. If the curb does not have paint on it, you can park in this area – just make sure that your wheels are not further than 12 inches from the curb.

If the curb has white paint on it, you cannot park there for a long period of time. You will have to limit your parking to short stops. If the curb has yellow or red paint, the state does not allow you to park there at all. The area may be a loading zone, bus stop, or another area with parking restrictions. Do not park in these marked curbs, or you may risk receiving a ticket or causing an accident.

In addition, you cannot park in areas of curbs that have a lowered area for accessibility. When you are parking at a curb, make sure you are not within five feet of a driveway, alley, or private road.

Parking at Intersections in Washington

Another consideration you need to keep in mind when looking for a place to park is the existence of intersections. The state does not allow drivers to park in an intersection, crosswalk, or sidewalk. Sometimes, intersections can be difficult to spot, especially if they are unmarked. In Washington, unmarked intersections have the following characteristics.

  • Spans an intersection between two corners
  • Does not have painted lines

Parking Near Fire Stations and Construction Sites

When you are looking for a place to park, make sure that you are clear of a construction site. Sometimes, construction can take up a portion of a road, and parking near the site could cause your vehicle to block the road.

Keep vigilant of fire stations as well – for safety reasons, you need to park at least 20 feet away from the fire station’s entrance if you are on the same side of the street. If you are on the opposite side of the street, you will need to park at least 75 feet away from the fire station entrance.

Additional Washington State Parking Laws

The majority of parking laws in Washington are straightforward, but the state does have specific regulations when it comes to traffic signs and other objects on the sides of the road. You will also need to take the following considerations in mind when you are looking for a place to park.

  • Do not park within 30 feet of a stop sign, traffic signal, or yield sign.
  • Do not park within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.
  • Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Do not park within 20 feet of a pedestrian safety zone.
  • Do not park on bridges or in tunnels.
  • Double parking, or parking alongside another parked vehicle on a road, is illegal.
  • For more information: WAC 132N-156-550: Illegal parking
  • For more information: CW 46.61.570: Stopping, standing, or parking

Follow these parking laws to ensure that you do your part to maintain safe roads, keep your vehicle free from damage, and avoid incurring any tickets or fines. If you suffer injuries as a result of a parking violation in Washington, make sure to contact a Seattle car accident attorney for help with your insurance claim or lawsuit.