Police and the no-parking-on-a-bridge law

The in basket: Maynard Peterson of Port Orchard read the recent Road Warrior column saying it’s illegal to park on a bridge, specifically the Trigger Avenue bridge over Highway 3 near Silverdale, and had a question.

“How come I have often seen Washington (State) Patrol police cruisers stopped over freeways while the officer uses a radar gun trying to catch speeding motorists using the bridge rail to hide behind,” he asked. “Does that mean as long as the vehicle is occupied its okay?  Or do they have unwritten approval?   

“Or is it just the old double standard where they can claim they are enforcing the rules in any way they see fit? 

“What about the police stopping on on-ramps out of view to unsuspecting motorists and catching them on radar after they have passed the point of slowing down to try to avoid the speeding ticket?  Are they legally parked there?” 

The out basket: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that police are allowed to do things the general public can’t, while performing their duties. RCW 46.61.035

says emergency vehicles, “when responding to an emergency call or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law or when responding to but not upon returning from a fire alarm,” may stop and stand, speed, turn and go through red lights and stop signs, if done safely. 

There is some wording in the law that might be construed to require the officer to have his car’s emergency lights on, but the wording is so convoluted, I doubt that would be an out for a speeder. 

Anyone can park briefly on the shoulder of an on-ramp if they stay in the car, such as to talk on a cell phone, State Trooper Krista Hedstrom said, so the police can, too. Staying in the car probably could permit parking on a bridge, as well. It’s leaving the car unoccupied that’s clearly an infraction for citizens.

One thought on “Police and the no-parking-on-a-bridge law

  1. Cops are a** h***s and they can do whatever they want. They dont have to obey the law. Ive seen both Kitsap County and State Patrol on their cell phones, speeding without lights on, not using their turn signals, not complely stopping at signs. They get no respect from me. If they dont have to obey the law, why do we??

    I understand if they are going to a call or something, but they should be required to have their lights on and have good reason to not have to obey the law.

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