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Washington Rules Regarding Slow Moving Vehicles
In Washington State, slow moving vehicles are to pull over to allow traffic to flow smoothly and avoid any car accidents. There are minimum speed regulations that you are required to abide by. You are not permitted to drive your vehicle at such a slow speed that will impeded the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. You are permitted to driver slower if it is necessary for you to safely operate your vehicle given the weather conditions, road conditions, etc.
If you are following a slow moving vehicle, you may only pass that vehicle if the vehicle is being driven at less than the legal maximum speed. You are only allowed to exceed the speed limit to pass for such a distance and at such a speed as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safely.
If you are on a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe and there are five or more vehicles in line behind you then are you required to pull over to the side in an area safe for turnouts and allow for the other vehicles to pass you.
If there are shoulders authorized to be driven on to allow passage of other vehicles, then you are permitted to drive on the authorized shoulders. There will be a sign permitting the driving on the shoulder, only then are you authorized to drive on them.
The rules governing slow-moving vehicles is as follows:
RCW 46.61.425: Minimum speed regulation—Passing slow moving vehicle.
(1) 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.
(2) Whenever the secretary of transportation or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway unreasonably impede the normal movement of traffic, the secretary or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit thereat which shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected. No person shall drive a vehicle slower than such minimum speed limit except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
RCW 46.61.427: Slow-moving vehicle to pull off roadway.
On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow moving vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in a line, shall turn off the roadway wherever sufficient area for a safe turn-out exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed. As used in this section a slow moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.
RCW 46.61.428: Slow-moving vehicle driving on shoulders, when.
(1) The state department of transportation and local authorities are authorized to determine those portions of any two-lane highways under their respective jurisdictions on which drivers of slow-moving vehicles may safely drive onto improved shoulders for the purpose of allowing overtaking vehicles to pass and may by appropriate signs indicate the beginning and end of such zones.
(2) Where signs are in place to define a driving-on-shoulder zone as set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the driver of a slow-moving vehicle may drive onto and along the shoulder within the zone but only for the purpose of allowing overtaking vehicles to pass and then shall return to the roadway.
(3) Signs erected to define a driving-on-shoulder zone take precedence over pavement markings for the purpose of allowing the movements described in subsection (2) of this section.
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