Chapter 10.40


10.40.010    Adoption.

10.40.020    Title.

10.40.030    Reference – Prefix change.

10.40.040    Preservation of prosecution begun under prior provisions.

10.40.050    Violation.

10.40.060    Adoption of RCW amendment.

10.40.070    Appendix A – Included RCW sections.

10.40.080    Appendix B – RCW sections adopted as modified.

10.40.100    Monetary penalties.

10.40.010 Adoption.

A. The state statute and/or portions or parts of state statutes listed by reference to the Revised Code of Washington, as amended by the Regular and Extraordinary Sessions of the 1969 Legislature of the state of Washington, title, chapter and section numbers in Appendix A, which by this reference are included herein as though set forth in full herein, are adopted.

B. State statutes, listed by Revised Code of Washington title, chapter and section numbers in Appendix B, which are by this reference included herein as though set forth in full herein, are adopted as specially modified herein.

C. RCW 46.20.308, 46.20.311, 46.20.092, and Chapter 70.84, are included herein by reference, as though set forth in full herein, are adopted. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.020 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the “Whatcom County Traffic Code” and it shall be sufficient to refer to this chapter or any part or portion thereof as the “Whatcom County Traffic Code” in any prosecution for the violation of any provision thereof. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.030 Reference – Prefix change.

Reference to all or any state statutes and/or portions or parts of state statutes listed and adopted by this chapter shall be by Revised Code of Washington title, chapter and section number, but deleting the prefix “RCW” and substituting for said prefix the prefix “WCTC,” which prefix for the purposes of this chapter shall be the abbreviation for “Whatcom County Traffic Code.” (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.040 Preservation of prosecution begun under prior provisions.

Any resolution previously adopted by the board of county commissioners, or Whatcom County council, which is in whole or in part inconsistent with any provision of the Whatcom County Traffic Code is to that extent repealed; provided, any prosecution begun under such inconsistent provision prior to December 31, 1980, shall be preserved. (Ord. 93-048 (part); Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.050 Violation.

Any person violating any of the provisions or failing to comply with any of the mandatory requirements of this traffic code for which no penalty has been otherwise prescribed shall be guilty of an infraction. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.060 Adoption of RCW amendment.

Any amendment adopted by the Washington State Legislature to any section of the Revised Code of Washington adopted by reference herein is adopted as a part of this traffic code. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.070 Appendix A – Included RCW sections.

The list of RCW sections to be included in the traffic code shall be as follows:


16.24.065    Stock at large in areas – Unlawful.

16.24.070    Stock at large on highway right-of-way – Unlawful – Impounding.

46.04.010    Scope and construction of terms.

46.04.020    Alley.

46.04.030    Arterial highway.

46.04.040    Authorized emergency vehicle.

46.04.050    Auto stage.

46.04.060    Axle.

46.04.071    Bicycle.

46.04.080    Business district.

46.04.090    Cancel.

46.04.100    Center line.

46.04.110    Center of intersection.

46.04.120    City street.

46.04.130    Combination of vehicles.

46.04.140    Commercial vehicle.

46.04.150    County road.

46.04.160    Crosswalk.

46.04.165    Driveaway-towaway operation.

46.04.170    Explosives.

46.04.180    Farm tractor.

46.04.190    For hire vehicle.

46.04.200    Hours of darkness.

46.04.210    Flammable liquid.

46.04.220    Intersection area.

46.04.230    Intersection center marker.

46.04.240    Intersection control area.

46.04.250    Intersection entrance marker.

46.04.260    Laned highway.

46.04.270    Legal owner.

46.04.280    Local authorities.

46.04.290    Marked crosswalk.

46.04.300    Metal tire.

46.04.310    Motor truck.

46.04.320    Motor vehicle.

46.04.330    Motorcycle.

46.04.332    Motor-driven cycle.

46.04.340    Muffler.

46.04.350    Multiple lane highway.

46.04.360    Nonresident.

46.04.370    Operator or driver.

46.04.380    Owner.

46.04.382    Passenger car.

46.04.391    Police officer.

46.04.400    Pedestrian.

46.04.405    Person.

46.04.410    Pneumatic tires.

46.04.414    Pole trailer.

46.04.420    Private road or driveway.

46.04.431    Highway.

46.04.435    Public scale.

46.04.440    Railroad.

46.04.450    Railroad sign or signal.

46.04.460    Registered owner.

46.04.470    Residence district.

46.04.480    Revoke.

46.04.490    Road tractor.

46.04.500    Roadway.

46.04.510    Safety zone.

46.04.521    School bus.

46.04.530    Semitrailer.

46.04.540    Sidewalk.

46.04.550    Solid tire.

46.04.552    Special mobile equipment.

46.04.560    State highway.

46.04.570    Street car.

46.04.580    Suspend.

46.04.585    Temporarily sojourning.

46.04.590    Traffic.

46.04.600    Traffic-control signal.

46.04.611    Traffic-control devices.

46.04.620    Trailer.

46.04.630    Train.

46.04.640    Trolley vehicle.

46.04.650    Truck tractor.

46.04.660    Used vehicle.

46.04.670    Vehicle.

46.04.680    Director – Department.

46.08.030    Uniformity of application.

46.08.060    Classification as emergency vehicles – Approval of operators.

46.08.080    Liability of host for injury to guest in motor vehicle.

46.08.190    Jurisdiction of justices of peace, police court and superior court.

46.12.010    Certificates required to operate and sell vehicles – Manufacturers or dealers, security interest, how perfected.

46.12.070    Destruction of vehicle – Surrender of certificates, penalty – Notice of settlement by insurance company.

46.12.080    Procedure on installation of different motor – Penalty.

46.12.090    Procedure when motor or motor block removed – Unlawful acts.

46.12.100    Sale or transfer of vehicle – Assignment of certificate of ownership – Penalty.

46.16.010    Licenses and plates required – Exceptions.

46.16.135    Quarterly license – Penalty.

46.16.140    Overloading licensed capacity – Additional license – Penalty.

46.16.240    Attachment of plates to vehicles – Violations enumerated.

46.16.260    License registration certificate – Endorsement – Attachment to vehicle.

46.16.290    License certificate and plates follow vehicle on transfer – Exception.

46.20.011    Definitions.

46.20.021    Driver’s license required – Surrender of license held from another jurisdiction – Other license not required.

46.20.025    Persons exempt from licensing requirement.

46.20.041    Physically or mentally disabled persons – Procedure – Restrictions – Violations – Penalty.

46.20.045    Age limit for school bus drivers and drivers of for-hire vehicles.

46.20.190    License to be in immediate possession and displayed on demand.

46.20.220    Unlawful renting of vehicle to unlicensed person – Rental record.

46.20.336    Violations – Penalty.

46.20.342    Driving while license suspended or revoked – Penalty – Extension of suspension or revocation period.

46.20.343    Unlawful to allow unauthorized minor child or ward to drive.

46.20.344    Unlawful to allow unauthorized person to drive.

46.20.420    Operation of motor vehicle prohibited while license is suspended or revoked.

46.20.440    Operation of vehicles requiring special skills – Additional examination and special license endorsement required – Exemption.

46.20.500    Special endorsement for motorcycle operator’s license.

46.32.060    Moving defective vehicle unlawful – Impounding authorized.

46.32.070    Inspection of damaged vehicle.

46.37.010    Scope and effect of regulations – General penalty.

46.37.020    When lighted lamps and signaling devices are required.

46.37.030    Visibility distance and mounted height of lamps.

46.37.040    Head lamps on motor vehicles.

46.37.050    Tail lamps.

46.37.060    Reflectors.

46.37.070    Stop lamps and turn signals required.

46.37.080    Application of succeeding sections.

46.37.090    Additional equipment required on certain vehicles.

46.37.100    Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps, backup lamps and reflectors.

46.37.110    Mounting of reflectors, clearance lamps and side marker lamps.

46.37.120    Visibility of reflectors, clearance lamps, identification lamps and side marker lamps.

46.37.130    Obstructed lights not required.

46.37.140    Lamps, reflectors, and flags on projecting load.

46.37.150    Lamps on vehicles – Parked or stopped vehicles, lighting requirements.

46.37.160    Lamps and reflectors on farm tractors, farm equipment and implements of husbandry.

46.37.170    Lamps and reflectors on other vehicles and equipment.

46.37.180    Spot lamps and auxiliary lamps.

46.37.184    Red flashing lights on fire department vehicles.

46.37.185    Blue light on fireman’s private cars.

46.37.186    Fire department sign or plate on private car.

46.37.187    Blue light, sign or plate – Identification card required – Funeral coach may display blue light.

46.37.188    Penalty for violation of RCW 46.37.184 through 46.37.188

46.37.190    Red lights on emergency vehicles, school buses, police vehicles – Sirens on emergency vehicles – Driver’s duty to yield and stop.

46.37.200    Stop lamps and electric turn signals.

46.37.210    Additional lighting equipment.

46.37.220    Multiple-beam road-lighting equipment.

46.37.230    Use of multiple-beam road-lighting equipment.

46.37.240    Single-beam road-lighting equipment.

46.37.250    Lighting equipment on motor-driven cycles.

46.37.260    Alternate road lighting equipment.

46.37.270    Number of driving lamps required or permitted.

46.37.280    Special restrictions on lamps.

46.37.290    Special lighting equipment on school buses.

46.37.300    Standards for lights on snow-removal or highway maintenance and service equipment.

46.37.310    Selling or using lamps or equipment.

46.37.340    Braking equipment required.

46.37.351    Performance ability of brakes.

46.37.360    Maintenance of brakes.

46.37.365    Hydraulic brake fluid – Defined – Standards and specifications.

46.37.370    Brakes on motor-driven cycles.

46.37.380    Horns and warning devices.

46.37.390    Mufflers, prevention of noise and smoke.

46.37.400    Mirrors.

46.37.410    Windshields must be unobstructed and equipped with wipers.

46.37.420    Restrictions as to tire equipment.

46.37.430    Safety glazing materials in motor vehicles.

46.37.440    Certain vehicles to carry flares or other warning devices.

46.37.450    Display of warning devices when vehicle disabled.

46.37.460    Vehicles transporting explosives.

46.37.470    Air-conditioning equipment.

46.37.480    Television viewers.

46.37.490    Safety load chain and devices required.

46.37.500    Splash guards.

46.37.510    Seat belts.

46.37.520    Beach used vehicles with soft tires – “Dune buggies” – Inspection and approval required – Fee.

46.37.530    Motorcycles – Mirrors, goggles, face shields, and helmets – Regulations and specifications by commission on equipment.

46.37.535    Helmet requirements when motorcycle rented.

46.44.010    Outside width limit.

46.44.020    Maximum height – Impaired clearance signs.

46.44.030    Maximum lengths.

46.44.034    Front and rear protrusions.

46.44.036    Combination of units – Limitation.

46.44.037    Lawful operation – Special permits.

46.44.038    Width, height, length and combination restrictions – Special permits to exceed authorized.

46.44.041    Maximum gross weights – Axle factor.

46.44.042    Tire factor.

46.44.044    Wheelbase factor.

46.44.045    Penalties for violations.

46.44.046    Excess weight – Discretion of arresting officer.

46.44.047    Logging trucks – Special permits – County permits – Fees – Discretion of arresting officer.

46.44.050    Minimum length of wheelbase.

46.44.060    Outside load limits for passenger vehicles.

46.44.070    Drawbar requirement – Trailer whipping or weaving – Towing flag.

46.44.092    Special permits for oversize or overweight movements – Overall width limits – Application for permit.

46.44.094    Fees.

46.44.097    Misrepresentations and violations – Penalty – Display of permit – Hearing.

46.44.100    Enforcement – Weighing and lightening.

46.44.110    Liability for damage to highways, bridges, et cetera.

46.48.170    State patrol jurisdiction over safety in transport of dangerous articles – Rules and regulations.

46.48.175    Violation of rules, misdemeanor.

46.52.010    Duty on striking unattended car or other property.

46.52.020    Duty in case of injury to or death of person or damage to attended vehicle.

46.52.030    Accident reports.

46.52.040    Report when operator disabled.

46.52.070    Police officer’s report.

46.52.080    Confidentiality of reports – Information required to be disclosed – Evidence.

46.52.083    Availability of factual data to interested parties.

46.52.085    Fee for written information.

46.52.090    Reports by repairmen, storage men and appraisers – Violations, penalties.

46.52.100    Record of traffic charges – Reports of convictions by courts – Venue in justice courts – Driving under influence of liquor or drugs, penalty.

46.52.110    Stolen and abandoned vehicles – Reports of – Notice – Sale – Violations – Penalties.

46.61.005    Provisions of chapter refer to vehicles upon the highways – Exceptions.

46.61.010    Required obedience to traffic laws.

46.61.015    Obedience to police officers and flagmen.

46.61.020    Refusal to give information to or cooperate with officer.

46.61.025    Persons riding animals or driving animal-drawn vehicles.

46.61.030    Persons working on highways – Exceptions.

46.61.035    Authorized emergency vehicles.

46.61.050    Obedience to and required traffic-control devices.

46.61.055    Traffic-control signal legend.

46.61.060    Pedestrian-control signals.

46.61.065    Flashing signals.

46.61.070    Lane-direction-control signals.

46.61.075    Display of unauthorized signs, signals or markings.

46.61.080    Interference with official traffic-control devices or railroad signs or signals.

46.61.085    Traffic control signals or devices upon city streets forming part of state highways – Approval by commissioner required.

46.61.100    Drive on right side of roadway – Exceptions.

46.61.105    Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions.

46.61.110    Overtaking a vehicle on the left.

46.61.115    When overtaking on the right is permitted.

46.61.120    Limitations on overtaking on the left.

46.61.125    Further limitations on driving to left of center of roadway.

46.61.130    No-passing zones.

46.61.135    One-way roadways and rotary traffic islands.

46.61.140    Driving on roadways laned for traffic.

46.61.145    Following too closely.

46.61.150    Driving on divided highways.

46.61.155    Restricted access.

46.61.160    Restrictions on use of controlled-access roadway.

46.61.180    Vehicle approaching intersection.

46.61.185    Vehicle turning left.

46.61.190    Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

46.61.195    Arterial highways designated – Stopping on entering.

46.61.200    Stop intersections other than arterial may be designated.

46.61.205    Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway.

46.61.210    Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

46.61.230    Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations.

46.61.235    Pedestrians’ right-of-way in crosswalks.

46.61.240    Crossing at other than crosswalks.

46.61.245    Drivers to exercise care.

46.61.250    Pedestrians on roadways.

46.61.255    Pedestrians soliciting rides or business.

46.61.260    Driving through safety zone prohibited.

46.61.290    Required position and method of turning at intersections.

46.61.295    “U” turns on curve or crest of grade prohibited.

46.61.300    Starting parked vehicle.

46.61.305    Turning movements and required signals.

46.61.310    Signals by hand and arm or signal lamps.

46.61.315    Method of giving hand and arm signals.

46.61.340    Obedience to signal indicating approach of train.

46.61.345    All vehicles must stop at certain railroad grade crossings.

46.61.350    Certain vehicles must stop at all railroad grade crossings.

46.61.355    Moving heavy equipment at railroad grade crossings.

46.61.360    Stop signs and yield signs.

46.61.365    Emerging from alley, driveway or building.

46.61.370    Overtaking and passing school bus.

46.61.385    School patrol – Appointment – Authority – Finance – Insurance.

46.61.400    Basic rule and maximum limits.

46.61.415    When local authorities may alter maximum limits.

46.61.425    Minimum speed regulation.

46.61.440    Maximum speed limit when passing school or playground crosswalks.

46.61.445    Due care required.

46.61.450    Maximum speed, weight and size in traversing bridges, elevated structures, tunnels, underpasses – Posting limits.

46.61.455    Vehicles with solid or hollow cushion tires.

46.61.460    Special speed limitation on motor-driven cycle.

46.61.465    Exceeding speed limit evidence of reckless driving.

46.61.475    Charging violations of speed regulations.

46.61.502    Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

46.61.504    Actual physical control of motor vehicle under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

46.61.506    Persons under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs – Evidence – Chemical tests.

46.61.508    Liability of medical personnel withdrawing blood.

46.61.510    Persons under the influence of drugs.

46.61.515    Driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs – Penalties – Suspension or revocation of license – Appeal.

46.61.525    Operating motor vehicle in a negligent manner.

46.61.530    Racing of vehicles on highways, reckless driving.

46.61.535    Advertising of unlawful speed attained, reckless driving.

46.61.560    Stopping, standing or parking outside of business or residence districts.

46.61.565    Officers authorized to remove illegally stopped vehicle.

46.61.570    Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified places.

46.61.575    Additional parking regulations.

46.61.580    Special parking privileges for certain disabled persons – Display of decal – Prohibited areas.

46.61.600    Unattended motor vehicle.

46.61.605    Limitations on backing.

46.61.610    Riding on motorcycles.

46.61.611    Maximum height for handlebars.

46.61.612    Both feet not to be on same side.

46.61.613    Temporary suspension of restrictions for parades or public demonstrations.

46.61.615    Obstructions to driver’s view or driving mechanism.

46.61.620    Opening and closing vehicle doors.

46.61.625    Riding in trailers.

46.61.630    Coasting prohibited.

46.61.635    Following fire apparatus prohibited.

46.61.640    Crossing fire hose.

46.61.645    Throwing or depositing glass, et cetera, on highway prohibited – Removal.

46.61.650    Throwing or dropping glass or debris, et cetera, upon or along highways, parks, beaches or waters – Penalty – Suspension of penalty conditioned upon removal of debris.

46.61.655    Permitting escape of load materials.

46.61.660    Carrying persons or animals on outside part of vehicle.

46.61.665    Embracing another while driving.

46.61.670    Driving with wheels off roadway.

46.61.675    Causing or permitting vehicle to be unlawfully operated.

46.61.680    Lowering passenger motor vehicle below legal clearance – Penalty.

46.61.685    Leaving children unattended in standing vehicle with motor running – Penalty.

46.61.700    Parent or guardian shall not authorize or permit violation by a child or ward.

46.61.750    Effect of regulations – Penalty.

46.61.755    Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.

46.61.760    Riding on bicycles.

46.61.765    Clinging to vehicles.

46.61.770    Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.

46.61.775    Carrying articles.

46.61.780    Lamps and other equipment on bicycles.

46.61.991    Severability.

46.64.010    Traffic citations – Record of – Cancellation prohibited – Penalty – Citation audit.

46.64.015    Citation and notice to appear in court – Issuance – Contents – Written promise – Arrest.

46.64.020    Nonappearance after written promise, misdemeanor.

46.64.025    Nonappearance after written promise – Notice to department.

46.64.030    Procedure governing arrest and prosecution.

46.64.048    Attempting, aiding, abetting, coercing, committing violations, punishable.

46.64.050    General penalty.

46.64.060    Stopping motor vehicles for driver’s license check, vehicle inspection and test – Purpose.

46.64.070    Stopping motor vehicles for driver’s license check, vehicle inspection and test – Authorized – Powers additional.

46.68.010    Refunds of erroneous license fees – Proof – Time limitation on filing claims.

46.76.010    License required – Exceptions – “Driveway,” “towaway,” method defined.

46.76.030    Issuance on license – Plates.

46.98.010    Continuation of existing law.

46.98.020    Provision to be construed in parti materia.

46.98.040    Invalidity of part of title not to affect remainder.

46.98.050    Repeals and saving.

47.36.130    Meddling with signs prohibited.

47.36.180    Forbidden devices – Penalty.

47.36.200    Signs or flagmen at thoroughfare work sites.

47.36.220    Drivers of vehicles engaged in work must obey signs or flagmen.

47.52.010    “Limited access facility” defined.

47.52.011    “Existing highway” defined.

47.52.040    Design of facility – Ingress and egress restricted – Closure of intersecting roads.

47.52.110    Marking of facility with signs.

47.52.120    Violations specified – Penalty.

(Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.080 Appendix B – RCW sections adopted as modified.

A. RCW 46.04.431 Highway. Highway means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way, public or private, when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

B. RCW 46.08.030 Uniformity of application. The provisions of this title relating to the operation of vehicles shall be applicable and uniform upon all persons operating vehicles upon the public highways of this county, except as otherwise provided.

C. RCW 46.61.500 Reckless driving.

1. It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in a reckless manner as defined by this resolution.

2. Any person who drives any vehicle in a wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

3. The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than 30 days.

D. RCW 46.64.060 Stopping motor vehicles for driver’s license check, vehicle inspection and test – Purpose. The purpose of RCW 46.64.060 and 46.64.070 is to provide for the exercise of the police power of this state and county to protect the health and safety of its citizens by assuring that only qualified drivers and vehicles which meet minimum equipment standards shall operate upon the highways of this state and county.

E. RCW 46.64.070 Stopping motor vehicles for driver’s license check, vehicle inspection and test – Authorized powers additional. To carry out the purpose of RCW 46.64.060 and 46.64.070, officers of the Whatcom County sheriff’s office are empowered during daylight hours and while using plainly marked Whatcom County sheriff vehicles with red light to require the driver of any motor vehicle being operated on any highway of this county to stop and display his or her driver’s license and/or to submit the motor vehicle being driven by such person to an inspection and test to ascertain whether such vehicle complies with the minimum equipment requirements described by RCW Chapter 46.37, as now or hereafter amended. No criminal citation shall be issued for a period of 10 days after giving a warning ticket pointing out the defect. The powers conferred by RCW 46.64.060 and 46.64.070 are in addition to all other powers conferred by law upon such officers, including but not limited to powers conferred upon them as police officers pursuant to RCW 46.20.430 and powers conferred by RCW Chapter 46.32. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).

10.40.100 Monetary penalties.

A. A person found to have committed a traffic infraction under the terms of this chapter or ordinance shall be assessed a monetary penalty. No penalty may exceed $250.00 for each offense unless authorized by this chapter or title.

B. There shall be a penalty of $250.00 for failure to respond to a notice of traffic infraction, or failure to pay a monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this chapter.

C. Whenever a monetary penalty is imposed by a court under this chapter, it is immediately payable. If the person is unable to pay it at that time, the court may, in its discretion, grant an extension of the period in which the penalty may be paid. If the penalty is not paid on or before the time established for payment, the court shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of the failure to pay the penalty, and the Department may not renew the person’s driver’s license until the penalty has been paid. (Ord. 80-108 (part)).