Washington

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of Washington. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

Washington
Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1990.

Washington
Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

6 or 8 years

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Provisions for Mature Drivers

70 and over: no electronic renewal

Washington
DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

Per se >0 for some drugs

Washington
Marijuana Possession and Use

Decriminalized and legal for recreational and medical use

Washington
Marijuana Impaired Driving

THC per se (5 ng)

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Urban Interstates: Cars (MPH)

60

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Urban Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

60

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Other Limited Access Roads: Cars (MPH)

60

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Other Limited Access Roads: Trucks (MPH)

60

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Rural Interstates: Cars (MPH)

70

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Rural Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

60

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Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

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Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

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Limited driving privileges during suspension

With an ignition interlock driver's license

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Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

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Open container laws

yes

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Repeat Offender Laws

No

Washington
Child Restraint Required

Under 2 years – rear-facing child restraint

2 to 4 years – child restraint with harness (rear or forward-facing)

4 years and older – car or booster seat until 4’9”

Up to age 13 years – must ride in back seat when practical

Washington
Adult Safety Belt Permissible

4’9” or taller

Adult seat belt fits properly

40 lbs or over in seating position with only lap belt

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Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 15 / 6 without driver's ed.

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Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

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Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

50 (10)

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Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

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Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

1 a.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

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Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 6 months: no passengers under 20 Remainder: no more than 3 passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement)

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Full Privilege Minimum Age

18 years

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Type of Law

Primary

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Who is Covered?

Over 16 or over 4'9"

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In What Seat?

All

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Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

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All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

No

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All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers with learner or intermediate license. Primary law.

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Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Washington
Speed Cameras: State Law

Permitted by state law

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Speed Cameras: Where Permitted

School speed zones; in cities west of the Cascade Mountains, only one camera and upon state legislative approval

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Red Light Cameras: State Law

Permitted by state law and city ordinance

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Red Light Cameras: Where Permitted

Statewide; at intersections of two arterials

GHSA Acts on 'Dirty Little Secret' of US Distracted Driving

The US Governors Highway Safety Association has awarded two grants - of $87,500 each - to help reduce distracted driving in the District of Columbia and Washington state. Partnering with General Motors (GM), GHSA is awarding the money to the state highway safety office in DC and Washington to create and evaluate local distracted driving prevention programmes. Last year, the organisations awarded $210,000 in grants to seven SHSOs.

GHSA, GM Expand Efforts to End Distracted Driving

GHSA and General Motors (GM) are advancing their work together to end the persistent and deadly problem of distracted driving by supporting innovative new ways to address this dangerous behavior. GHSA is awarding two grants to create and evaluate local distracted driving prevention programs in the District of Columbia and Washington state. A third grant is supporting youth journalists in diverse and underserved communities who will highlight how distracted driving endangers everyone on the road.

Drunk Driving Repeat Offenses Drop With Ignition Interlock Removal Laws

States that have laws to govern when ignition interlock devices may be removed from drunk driving offenders’ vehicles have significantly lower rates of repeat driving under the influence (DUI) offenses than states which do not. Those are the main findings of a new study recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit organization representing state highway safety offices, that addressed measures to help reduce the number of drunk driving repeat incidents.

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