Chapter 11.04
TRAFFIC CODE

Sections:

11.04.005    Title.

11.04.010    Purpose.

11.04.015    Scope and construction of terms.

11.04.020    Definitions.

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

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

11.04.280    Unlawful to allow unauthorized person to drive.

11.04.285    Special endorsement for motorcycle operator’s license.

11.04.290    Mufflers, prevention of noise.

11.04.295    Motorcycles or motor-driven cycles – Mirrors, glasses, goggles, face shields, and helmets – Regulations and specifications by State Commission on Equipment.

11.04.300    Required obedience to traffic laws.

11.04.305    Obedience to police officers and flagmen.

11.04.310    Refusal to give information to or cooperate with officer.

11.04.315    Interference with official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals.

11.04.320    Drive on right side of roadway – Exceptions.

11.04.325    Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions.

11.04.330    Overtaking a vehicle on the left.

11.04.335    When overtaking on the right is permitted.

11.04.340    Limitations on overtaking on the left.

11.04.345    Further limitation on driving to left of center of roadway.

11.04.350    No-passing zones.

11.04.355    Driving on roadways laned for traffic.

11.04.360    Driving on divided highways.

11.04.365    Restricted access.

11.04.370    Vehicle approaching intersection.

11.04.375    Vehicle turning left.

11.04.380    Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

11.04.385    Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway.

11.04.390    Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

11.04.395    Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations.

11.04.400    Pedestrians on roadways.

11.04.405    Required position and method of turning at intersections.

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

11.04.415    Starting parked vehicle.

11.04.420    Signals by hand and arm or signal lamps.

11.04.425    Method of giving hand and arm signals.

11.04.430    Obedience to signal indicating approach of train.

11.04.435    Basic rule and maximum limits.

11.04.440    When County Road Department may alter maximum limits.

11.04.445    Minimum speed regulation.

11.04.450    Maximum speed limit when passing school or playground crosswalks.

11.04.455    Due care required.

11.04.460    Exceeding speed limit evidence of reckless driving.

11.04.465    Charging violations of speed regulations.

11.04.470    Reckless driving.

11.04.475    Persons under influence of intoxicating liquor – Presumptions – Evidence – Chemical tests – Information concerning tests.

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

11.04.485    Operating motor vehicle in a negligent manner.

11.04.490    Racing of vehicles on highways, reckless driving.

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

11.04.500    Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified places.

11.04.505    Unattended motor vehicle.

11.04.510    Limitation on backing.

11.04.515    Following fire apparatus prohibited.

11.04.520    Crossing fire hose.

11.04.525    Embracing another while driving.

11.04.530    Causing or permitting vehicle to be unlawfully operated.

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

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

11.04.545    Lighted cigars, etc. – Receptacles in conveyances.

11.04.550    Shooting firearms on public highway – Firing artillery across highway.

11.04.560    General penalty.

11.04.565    Vehicle subject to impoundment.

Cross-references:
RCW Title 46: Motor vehicles.

11.04.005 Title.

This ordinance* may be cited as the “Cowlitz County Traffic Code.” [Ord. 3345, § 1, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: The usual editorial policy of substituting “this chapter” for terms such as “this ordinance” and “this resolution” is not followed in this chapter, so as to avoid possible confusion with references to RCW chapters. See CCC 11.04.015 and note following.

11.04.010 Purpose.

In the interests of the public health, welfare and safety by better traffic control for the county, the Board of County Commissioners deems it necessary that the following laws from the State of Washington Motor Vehicle Laws, 1971 Edition, be adopted. [Ord. 3345, § 2, 11-27-73.]

Codifier’s note: The remainder of this chapter consists of the laws cited in the above section. The section number in the history notes corresponds with the RCW number (not necessarily current) of the adopted section. CCC 11.04.015 and 11.04.020 constitute the adoption of Chapter 46.04 RCW definitions.

11.04.015 Scope and construction of terms.

Terms used in this title* shall have the meaning given to them in this chapter* except where otherwise defined, and unless where used the context thereof shall clearly indicate to the contrary.

Words and phrases used herein in the past, present or future tense shall include the past, present and future tenses; words and phrases used herein in the masculine, feminine or neuter gender shall include the masculine, feminine and neuter genders; and words and phrases used herein in the singular or plural shall include the singular and plural, unless the context thereof shall indicate to the contrary. [Ord. 3345, § 46.04.010, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: “This title” appears in the original and does not refer to Title 11 of the Cowlitz County Code. “This chapter” likewise refers to Chapter 46.04 RCW, as adopted by Ord. 3345 (see note preceding this section).

11.04.020 Definitions.

“Alley” means a public highway not designed for general travel and used primarily as a means of access to the rear of residences and business establishments.

“Arterial highway” means every public highway, or portion thereof, designated as such by proper authority.

“Authorized emergency vehicle” means any vehicle of any fire department, police department, sheriff’s office, coroner, prosecuting attorney, Washington State Patrol, ambulance service, public or private, which need not be classified, registered or authorized by the State Commission on Equipment, or any other vehicle authorized in writing by the State Commission on Equipment.

“Auto stage” means any motor vehicle used for the purpose of carrying passengers together with incidental baggage and freight or either, on a regular schedule of time and rates; provided, that no motor vehicle shall be considered to be an auto stage where substantially the entire route traveled by such vehicle is within the corporate limits of any city or town or the corporate limits of any adjoining cities or towns.

“Bicycle” means every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is more than 20 inches in diameter.

“Business district” means the territory contiguous to and including the public highway when 50 percent or more of the frontage thereon on either side thereof for a contiguous distance of 300 feet or more is occupied by buildings in use for business.

“Centerline” means the line, marked or unmarked, parallel to and equidistant from the sides of the roadway of a public highway.

“Center of intersection” means the point of intersection of the centerlines of the roadway of intersecting public highways.

“County road” means every public highway or part thereof, outside the limits of cities and towns and which has not been designated as a state highway.

“Crosswalk” means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line 10 feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.

“For hire vehicle” means any motor vehicle other than an auto stage used for the transportation of persons for compensation.

“Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

“Hours of darkness” means the hours from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, and any other time when persons or objects may not be clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet.

“Intersection area” means the area embraced within the prolongation of the lateral curb lines, or, if there are no curb lines, or, if there are no curbs, then the lateral roadway boundary lines, of two or more public highways which join one another at an angle, whether or not such highways cross one another.

“Intersection center marker” means any standard, button, flag, painted or raised marker, or other device located at and intended to designate the approximate center of intersection.

“Intersection control area” means intersection area, together with such modification of the adjacent roadway area as results from the arc of curb corners and together with any marked or unmarked crosswalks adjacent to the intersection.

“Intersection entrance marker” means any standard, button, flag, caution sign, stop sign, or other device located at approximately the point of intersection of the centerline of an intersecting public highway with the nearest line of the intersection control area on the approach thereto.

“Laned highway” means a highway the roadway of which is divided into clearly marked lanes for vehicular traffic.

“Legal owner” means a mortgagee or owner of the legal title to a vehicle.

“Local authorities” includes every county, municipality, or other local public board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations under the Constitution and laws of this state.

“Marked crosswalk” means any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface thereof.

“Motorcycle” means every motor vehicle having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a farm tractor.

“Motor-driven cycle” means every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed five brake horsepower, and every bicycle with motor attached.

“Motor truck” means any motor vehicle designed or used for the transportation of commodities merchandise, produce, freight, or animals.

“Motor vehicle” shall mean every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails.

“Muffler” means a device consisting of a series of chambers, or other mechanical designs for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine and which is effective in reducing noise resulting therefrom.

“Multiple lane highway” means any public highway the roadway of which is of sufficient width to reasonably accommodate four or more separate lanes of vehicular traffic, two or more lanes in each direction, each lane of which shall be not less than eight feet in width and whether or not such lanes are marked and whether or not the lanes of opposite bound traffic are separated by a neutral zone or other centerline marking.

“Operator or driver” means every person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a public highway.

“Passenger car” means every motor vehicle except motorcycles and motor-driven cycles, designed for carrying 10 passengers or less and used for the transportation of persons.

“Pedestrian” means any person afoot.

“Person” includes every natural person, firm, copartnership, corporation, association, or organization.

“Police officer” means every officer authorized to direct or regulate traffic or to make arrests for violations of traffic regulations.

“Private carrier bus” means every motor vehicle designed for the purpose of carrying passengers (having a seating capacity for 11 or more persons) used regularly to transport persons. Such term does not include buses operated by common carriers under a franchise granted by any city or town or the Washington Public Utilities Commission.

“Private road or driveway” includes every way or place in private ownership and used for travel of vehicles by the owner or those having express or implied permission from the owner, but not by other persons.

“Railroad” means a carrier of persons or property upon vehicles, other than street cars, operated upon stationary rails, the route of which is principally outside cities and towns.

“Railroad sign or signal” means any sign, signal, or device erected by authority of a public body or official or by a railroad and intended to give notice of the presence of railroad tracks or the approach of a railroad train.

“Registered owner” means a person who holds a certificate of ownership of a vehicle, or in the event the vehicle is subject to an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with a right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with the immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then any such conditional vendee or lessee, or mortgagor having a lawful right of possession or use and control for a period of 10 or more successive days.

“Residence district” means the territory contiguous to and including a public highway not comprising a business district, when the property on such public highway for a continuous distance of 300 feet or more on either side thereof is in the main improved with residences or residences and buildings in use for business.

“Road tractor” includes every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a road building vehicle in drawing road building machinery and devices.

“Roadway” means the paved, improved, or proper driving portion of a public highway designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic.

“Safety zone” means the area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is protected or is marked or indicated by painted marks, signs, buttons, standards, or otherwise, so as to be plainly discernible.

“School bus” means every motor vehicle used regularly to transport children to and from school or in connection with school activities, which is subject to the requirements set forth in the most recent edition of “Specifications for School Buses” published by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, but does not include buses operated by common carriers in urban transportation of school children.

“Sidewalk” means that property between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property, set aside and intended for the use of pedestrians or such portion of private property parallel and in proximity to a public highway and dedicated to use by pedestrians.

“State highway” includes every primary and secondary state highway or part thereof.

“Suspend” in all its forms, means invalidation for any period less than one calendar year and thereafter until reinstatement.

“Traffic” includes pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, street cars, and other conveyances either singly or together, while using any public highways for purposes of travel.

Traffic Control Devices. Official “traffic control devices” means all signs, signals, markings and devices not inconsistent with RCW Title 46 placed or erected by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning or guiding traffic.

“Traffic control signal” means any traffic device, whether manually, electrically, or mechanically operated, by which traffic alternately is directed to stop or proceed or otherwise controlled.

“Train” means a vehicle propelled by steam, electricity, or other motive power with or without cars coupled thereto, operated upon stationary rails, except street cars.

“Vehicle” includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, excepting devices moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. [Ord. 3345, §§ 46.04.020 – 46.04.670, 11-27-73. Formerly 11.04.020 – 11.04.265.]

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

Every person shall have his driver’s license in his immediate possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. [Ord. 3345, § 46.20.190, 11-27-73.]

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

Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any public highway of this state at a time when his privilege so to do is suspended or revoked or when his policy of insurance or bond, when required under this resolution shall have been canceled or terminated, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon the first conviction therefor, he shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 10 days nor more than six months. Upon the second such conviction therefor, he shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days nor more than one year. Upon the third such conviction therefor, he shall be punished by imprisonment for one year. There may also be imposed in connection with each such conviction a fine of not more than $500.00. [Ord. 3345, § 46.20.342, 11-27-73.]

11.04.280 Unlawful to allow unauthorized person to drive.

No person shall authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle owned by him or under his control to be driven upon any highway by any person who is not authorized hereunder or in violation of any of the provisions of this ordinance. [Ord. 3345, § 46.20.344, 11-27-73.]

11.04.285 Special endorsement for motorcycle operator’s license.

No person shall drive a motorcycle, as defined in RCW 46.04.330* or a motor-driven cycle as defined in RCW 46.04.332*, unless such person has a valid driver’s license specially endorsed by the director to enable the holder to drive vehicles.** [Ord. 3345, § 46.20.500, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: RCW 46.04.330 and 46.04.332 are adopted in CCC 11.04.020.

**Codifier’s note: Thus in original.

11.04.290 Mufflers, prevention of noise.

Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, bypass or similar device on a motor vehicle upon a highway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.37.390, 11-27-73.]

 

11.04.295 Motorcycles or motor-driven cycles – Mirrors, glasses, goggles, face shields, and helmets – Regulations and specifications by State Commission on Equipment.

It shall be unlawful:

A. For any person to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle not equipped with a mirror on the left side of the handlebars which shall be located as to give the driver a complete view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle;

B. For any person to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle which does not have a windshield unless he wears glasses, goggles, or a face shield of a type approved by the State Commission on Equipment;

C. For any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless he wears upon his head a protective helmet of a type approved by the State Commission on Equipment. Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap which shall be fastened securely while the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle is in motion. [Ord. 3345, § 46.37.530, 11-27-73.]

11.04.300 Required obedience to traffic laws.

It shall be unlawful, unless otherwise declared by this ordinance, with respect to particular offenses for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.010, 11-27-73.]

11.04.305 Obedience to police officers and flagmen.

No person shall fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any duly authorized flagman or any police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.015, 11-27-73.]

11.04.310 Refusal to give information to or cooperate with officer.

It shall be unlawful for any person while operating or in charge of any vehicle to refuse when requested by a police officer to give his name and address and the name and address of the owner of such vehicle, or for such person to give a false name and address, and it shall likewise be unlawful for any such person to refuse or neglect to stop when signaled to stop by any police officer or to refuse upon demand of such police officer to produce his certificate of registration of such vehicle or his vehicle driver’s license or to refuse to permit such officer to take any such license or certificate for the purpose of examination thereof or to refuse to permit the examination of any equipment of such vehicle or the weighing of such vehicle or to refuse or neglect to produce the certificate of license registration of such vehicle or his vehicle driver’s license when requested by any court. Any police officer shall on request produce identification designating him to be a police officer. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.020, 11-27-73.]

11.04.315 Interference with official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals.

No person shall, without lawful authority, alter, deface, injure, knock down or remove any official traffic control device or any railroad sign or signal or any inscription, shield or insignia thereon, or any other part thereof. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.080, 11-27-73.]

11.04.320 Drive on right side of roadway – Exceptions.

A. Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

1. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;

2. When an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway;

3. Upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or

4. Upon a roadway designated and posted for one-way traffic.

B. Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding slower than the legal maximum speed or at a speed slower than necessary for safe operation at the time and place and under the conditions then existing, shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection, exit, or into a private road or driveway when such left turn is legally permitted.

C. Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the centerline of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic control devices designating certain lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes, or except as permitted under subsection (A)(2) of this section. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.100, 11-27-73.]

11.04.325 Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions.

Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass to the right of each other, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction, each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.105, 11-27-73.]

11.04.330 Overtaking a vehicle on the left.

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:

A. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

B. Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.110, 11-27-73.]

11.04.335 When overtaking on the right is permitted.

A. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

1. When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;

2. Upon a street or highway with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in each direction;

3. Upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.

B. The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.115, 11-27-73.]

11.04.340 Limitations on overtaking on the left.

No vehicle shall be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of RCW 46.61.100 through 46.61.160 and unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction and without interference with the operation of any vehicle overtaken. The overtaking vehicle shall return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.120, 11-27-73.]

11.04.345 Further limitation on driving to left of center of roadway.

A. No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions:

1. When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver’s view is so obstructed as to create a hazard in the event another vehicle might approach from the opposite direction;

2. When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;

3. When the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct or tunnel.

B. The foregoing limitations shall not apply upon a one-way roadway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.125, 11-27-73.]

11.04.350 No-passing zones.

A. The State Highway Commission and the County Road Department are hereby authorized to determine those portions of any highway under their respective jurisdictions where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may indicate the beginning and end of such zones by means of a solid barrier paint line of contrasting color parallel, adjacent, and to the right of the painted barrier line of the traffic lane in which the vehicle is operating. When such markings are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions thereof.

B. Where signs or markings are in place to define a no-passing zone as set forth in subsection A of this section, no driver shall at any time drive on the left side of the roadway within such no-passing zone or on the left side of any pavement striping designed to mark such no-passing zone throughout its length. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.130, 11-27-73.]

11.04.355 Driving on roadways laned for traffic.

Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules in addition to all others consistent herewith shall apply.

A. A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

B. Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction when such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for making a left turn or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction that the vehicle is proceeding and such allocation is designated by official traffic control devices.

C. Official traffic control devices may be erected directing slow moving or other specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device.

D. Official traffic control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.140, 11-27-73.]

11.04.360 Driving on divided highways.

Whenever any highway has been divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section or by two parallel yellow barrier stripes four inches or more apart so installed as to control vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic control devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing space, barrier or section, or yellow barrier stripes, except through an opening in such physical barriers or dividing section or space or yellow barrier stripes, or at a crossover or intersection as established unless specifically prohibited by public authority. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.150, 11-27-73.]

11.04.365 Restricted access.

No person shall drive a vehicle onto or from any limited access roadway except at such entrances and exits as are established by public authority. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.155, 11-27-73.]

11.04.370 Vehicle approaching intersection.

The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall look out for and yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on his right simultaneously approaching the intersection regardless of which vehicle first reaches and enters the intersection. The right-of-way rule declared in this section is modified at arterial highways and otherwise as stated in this ordinance. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.180, 11-27-73.]

11.04.375 Vehicle turning left.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.185, 11-27-73.]

11.04.380 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

A. Preferential right-of-way at an intersection may be indicated by stop signs or yield signs as authorized in RCW 47.36.110.

B. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop as required, and after having stopped shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute as immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection.

C. 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 shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection; provided, that if such driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield right-of-way. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.190, 11-27-73.]

11.04.385 Vehicle entering highway from private road or driveway.

The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from a private road or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on said highway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.205, 11-27-73.]

11.04.390 Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

A. Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of audible or visual signals or both meeting the requirements of RCW 46.37.190, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible or visual signal, the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to a position parallel to, and as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway clear of any intersection and shall stop and remain in such position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed, except when otherwise directed by a police officer.

B. This section shall not operate to relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.210, 11-27-73.]

11.04.395 Pedestrians subject to traffic regulations.

Pedestrians shall be subject to traffic control signals at intersections as provided in RCW 46.61.060, and at all other places pedestrians shall be accorded the privileges and shall be subject to the restrictions stated in this resolution. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.230, 11-27-73.]

11.04.400 Pedestrians on roadways.

A. Where sidewalks are provided it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.

B. Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction and upon meeting an oncoming vehicle shall step clear of the roadway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.250, 11-27-73.]

11.04.405 Required position and method of turning at intersections.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:

A. Right Turns. Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

B. Left Turns. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.290, 11-27-73.]

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

No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within 500 feet within residence or business districts and within 1,000 feet in all other locations. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.295, 11-27-73.]

11.04.415 Starting parked vehicle.

No person shall start a vehicle which is stopped, standing or parked unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.300, 11-27-73.]

11.04.420 Signals by hand and arm or signal lamps.

Any stop or turn signal when required herein shall be given either by means of the hand and arm or by signal lamps, except as otherwise provided. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.310, 11-27-73.]

11.04.425 Method of giving hand and arm signals.

All signals herein required given by hand and arm shall be given from the left side of the vehicle in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows:

A. Left Turn. Hand and arm extended horizontally.

B. Right Turn. Hand and arm extended upward.

C. Stop or Decrease Speed. Hand and arm extended downward. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.315, 11-27-73.]

11.04.430 Obedience to signal indicating approach of train.

A. Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaching a railroad grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in this section, the driver of such vehicle shall stop within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from nearest rail of such railroad, and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. The foregoing requirements shall apply when:

1. A clearly visible electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;

2. A crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train;

3. An approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to such crossing.

B. No person shall drive any vehicle through, around or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.340, 11-27-73.]

11.04.435 Basic rule and maximum limits.

A. No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirement and the duty of all persons to use due care.

B. Except when a special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection A of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized shall be maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of such maximum limits.

1. Fifty Miles per Hour on County Roads. The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered as authorized in RCW 46.61.405, 46.61.410 and 46.61.415.*

C. The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection A of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.400, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: 46.61.415 is adopted as CCC 11.04.440.

11.04.440 When County Road Department may alter maximum limits.

A. Whenever County Road Department determines on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that the maximum speed permitted under this ordinance is greater or less than is reasonable and safe under the conditions found to exist upon a highway or part of a highway, it may determine and declare a reasonable and safe maximum limit thereon which:

1. Decreases the limit at intersections; or

2. Increases the limit but not to more than 50 miles per hour; or

3. Decreases the limit but not less than 20 miles per hour.

B. The County Road Department shall determine by an engineering and traffic investigation the proper maximum speed for all arterial streets and shall declare a reasonable and safe maximum limit thereon which may be greater or less than the maximum speed permitted under RCW 46.61.400 (2)* but shall not exceed 50 miles per hour.

C. Any altered limit established as hereinbefore authorized shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected. Such maximum speed limit may be declared to be effective at all times or at such times as are indicated upon such signs; and differing limits may be established for different times of day, different types of vehicles, varying weather conditions, and other factors bearing on safe speeds, which shall be effective when posted upon appropriate fixed or variable signs. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.415, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: Adopted as CCC 11.04.435(B).

11.04.445 Minimum speed regulation.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law; provided, that a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120* on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.425, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: Adopted as CCC 11.04.340.

11.04.450 Maximum speed limit when passing school or playground crosswalks.

Subject to RCW 46.61.400(1)* and except in those instances where a lower maximum lawful speed is provided by this ordinance or otherwise, it shall be unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to operate the same at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour upon a public highway outside an incorporated city or town when passing any marked public school or playground crosswalk that has been posted under CCC 11.24.030. [Ord. 17-016 § 7, 3-14-17.]

*Codifier’s note: Adopted as CCC 11.04.435(A).

11.04.455 Due care required.

Compliance with speed requirements of this resolution under the circumstances hereinabove set forth shall not relieve the operator of any vehicle from the further exercise of due care and caution as further circumstances shall require. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.445, 11-27-73.]

11.04.460 Exceeding speed limit evidence of reckless driving.

The unlawful operation of a vehicle in excess of the maximum lawful speeds provided in this ordinance at the point of operation and under the circumstances described shall be prima facie evidence of the operation of a motor vehicle in a reckless manner by the operator thereof. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.465, 11-27-73.]

11.04.465 Charging violations of speed regulations.

In every charge of violation of any speed regulation in this ordinance the complaint, also the summons or notice to appear, shall specify the approximate speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven, also the maximum speed applicable within the district or at the location. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.475, 11-27-73.]

11.04.470 Reckless driving.

Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.500, 11-27-73.]

11.04.475 Persons under influence of intoxicating liquor – Presumptions – Evidence – Chemical tests – Information concerning tests.

A. It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of or affected by the use of intoxicating liquor or of any narcotic drug to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle within this county.

B. Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood at the time alleged as shown by chemical analysis of his blood, breath or other bodily substance shall give rise to the following presumptions:

1. If there was at that time 0.05 percent or less by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, it shall be presumed that he was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

2. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 percent but less than 0.10 percent by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

3. If there was at that time 0.10 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person’s blood, it shall be presumed that he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor;

4. Percent by weight of alcohol in the blood shall be based upon milligrams of alcohol per 100 cubic centimeters of blood;

5. The foregoing provisions of this section shall not be construed as limiting the introduction of any other competent evidence bearing upon the question whether the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

C. Chemical analysis of the person’s blood or breath to be considered valid under the provisions of this section shall have been performed according to methods approved by the State Toxicologist and by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the State Toxicologist for this purpose.

D. When a blood test is administered under the provisions of RCW 46.20.308, the withdrawal of blood for the purpose of determining its alcoholic content may be performed only by a physician, a registered nurse, or a qualified technician. This limitation shall not apply to the taking of breath specimens.

E. The person tested may have a physician, or a qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse, or other qualified person of his own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer. The failure or inability to obtain an additional test by a person shall not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test or tests taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

F. Upon the request of the person who shall submit to a chemical test or tests at the request of a law enforcement officer, full information concerning the test or tests shall be made available to him or his attorney. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.506, 11-27-73.]

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

Every person who is convicted of a violation of (A) driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or (B) driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of a narcotic drug, or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than six months, and by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00.

On a second or subsequent conviction of either offense within a five-year period he shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than one year and by a fine not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000, and neither the jail sentence nor the fine shall be suspended; provided, that the Court may, for a defendant who has not previously had a jail sentence suspended on such second or subsequent conviction, suspend such sentence and/or fine only on the condition that the defendant participate in and successfully complete a court approved alcohol treatment program; provided, further, that the suspension shall be set aside upon the failure of the defendant to provide proof of successful completion of said treatment program within a time certain to be established by the Court. If such person at the time of a second or subsequent conviction is without a license or permit because of a previous suspension or revocation, the minimum mandatory sentence shall be 90 days in jail and a $200.00 fine. The penalty so imposed shall not be suspended. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.515, 11-27-73.]

11.04.485 Operating motor vehicle in a negligent manner.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in a negligent manner over and along the public highways of this state. For the purpose of this section to “operate in a negligent manner” shall be construed to mean the operation of a vehicle upon the public highways of this state in such a manner as to endanger or be likely to endanger any persons or property.

The offense of operating a vehicle in a negligent manner shall be considered to be a lesser offense than, but included in, the offense of operating a vehicle in a reckless manner, and any person charged with operating a vehicle in a reckless manner may be convicted of the lesser offense of operating a vehicle in a negligent manner. Any person violating the provisions of this section will be guilty of a misdemeanor. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.525, 11-27-73.]

11.04.490 Racing of vehicles on highways, reckless driving.

No person or persons shall race any motor vehicle or motor vehicles upon any public highway of this state. Any person or persons guilty of comparing or contesting relative speeds by simultaneous operations shall be guilty of reckless driving whether or not such speed is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.530, 11-27-73.]

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

A. Upon any highway outside of incorporated cities and towns no person shall stop, park or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the main-traveled part of the highway.

B. This section shall not apply to the driver of any vehicle which is disabled while on the main-traveled portion of a highway in such manner and to such extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving such disabled vehicles in such position. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.560, 11-27-73.]

11.04.500 Stopping, standing or parking prohibited in specified places.

A. Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a Deputy Sheriff of official traffic control device, no person shall:

1. Stop, stand or park a vehicle:

a. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;

b. On a sidewalk or street planting strip;

c. Within an intersection;

d. On a crosswalk;

e. Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless official signs or markings indicate a different no-parking area opposite the ends of a safety zone;

f. Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic;

g. Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel;

h. On any railroad tracks; or

i. At any place where official signs prohibit stopping.

2. Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger or passengers:

a. In front of a public or private driveway or within five feet of the end of the curb radius leading thereto;

b. Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;

c. Within 20 feet of a crosswalk;

d. Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway;

e. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of said entrance; or

f. At any place where official signs prohibit standing.

3. Park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading merchandise or passengers:

a. Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing; or

b. At any place where official signs prohibit parking.

B. Parking or standing shall be permitted in the manner provided by law at all other places except a time limit may be imposed or parking restricted at other places, but such limitations and restrictions shall be by county ordinance.

C. No person shall move a vehicle not lawfully under his control into any such prohibited area or away from a curb such a distance as is unlawful. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.570, 11-27-73.]

11.04.505 Unattended motor vehicle.

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.600, 11-27-73.]

11.04.510 Limitation on backing.

A. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic.

B. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any limited access highway. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.605, 11-27-73.]

11.04.515 Following fire apparatus prohibited.

The driver of any vehicle other than one on official business shall not follow any fire apparatus traveling in response to a fire alarm closer than 500 feet or drive into or park such vehicle within the block where fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.635, 11-27-73.]

11.04.520 Crossing fire hose.

No vehicle shall be driven over any unprotected hose of a fire department when laid down on any street, or private driveway, to be used at any fire or alarm of fire, without the consent of the fire department official in command. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.640, 11-27-73.]

11.04.525 Embracing another while driving.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state when such person has in his or her embrace another person which prevents the free and unhampered operation of such vehicle. Any person so doing shall be deemed guilty of reckless driving. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.665, 11-27-73.]

11.04.530 Causing or permitting vehicle to be unlawfully operated.

It shall be unlawful for the owner, or any other person, in employing or otherwise directing the operator of any vehicle to require or knowingly to permit the operation of such vehicle upon any public highway in any manner contrary to the law. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.675, 11-27-73.]

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

It shall be unlawful for any person, while operating or in charge of a vehicle, to park or willfully allow such vehicle to stand upon a public highway or in a public place with its motor running, leaving a minor or children under the age of 16 years unattended therein. [Ord. 3345, § 46.61.685, 11-27-73.]

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

Every person who commits, attempts to commit, conspires to commit, or aids or abets in the commission of any act declared by this title* to be a crime, whether individually or in connection with one or more other persons or as principal, agent, or accessory, shall be guilty of such offense, and every person who falsely, fraudulently, forcefully, or willfully induces, causes, coerces, requires, permits or directs others to violate any provisions of this title* is likewise guilty of such offense. [Ord. 3345, § 46.64.048, 11-27-73.]

*Codifier’s note: “This title” does not refer to CCC Title 11.

11.04.545 Lighted cigars, etc. – Receptacles in conveyances.

It shall be unlawful during the closed season for any person to throw away any lighted tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, matches, firecrackers, or other lighted material in any forest, brush, range or grain areas.

Every conveyance operated through or above forest, brush, range or grain areas shall be equipped in each compartment with a suitable receptacle for the disposition of lighted tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, matches, firecrackers, or other inflammable material. Every person operating a public conveyance through or above forest, range, or grain areas shall post copy of this section in a conspicuous place within the smoking compartment of the conveyance; and every person operating a saw mill, or a logging camp in any such areas, shall post a copy of this section in a conspicuous place upon the ground or building of such milling or logging operation. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. [Ord. 3345, § 46.04.300, 11-27-73. The comparable RCW section is RCW 76.04.300.]

11.04.550 Shooting firearms on public highway – Firing artillery across highway.

It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot any pistol, rifle, shotgun or other firearm from across or along any public highway. [Ord. 3345, § 77.16.260, 11-27-73.]

11.04.560 General penalty.

It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to violate any of the provisions of this resolution unless violation is by this ordinance or other laws of this state declared to be a felony or a gross misdemeanor.

Unless another penalty is in this ordinance provided, every person convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of any provisions of this ordinance shall be punished accordingly.

Disposition of fines and forfeitures for violations of this ordinance will be in accordance with the State Auditor’s instructions, on a percentage basis in compliance with RCW 3.62.015 and RCW 36.33.010. [Ord. 3345, § 46.64.050, 11-27-73.]

11.04.565 Vehicle subject to impoundment.

A. RCW 46.55.113 Implemented. Pursuant to RCW 46.55.113, county law enforcement are authorized to impound vehicles whenever the driver of the vehicle is arrested for a violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.504, 46.20.342, or 46.20.420. When the operator of a motor vehicle is arrested for violating RCW 46.20.342 or 46.20.420, the Cowlitz County Sheriff or his designee is authorized to provide written direction to hold the vehicle in impound for the time periods provided for and specified in RCW 46.55.120.

B. The Sheriff or his designee may issue a written order authorizing release of the vehicle to the spouse of the operator on the basis of economic or personal hardship, after taking into consideration public safety factors, including the operator’s criminal history and safety record. [Ord. 98-178, §§ 1, 2, 10-19-98; Ord. 98-101, § 1, 6-22-98.]