No law against demonstrations in roundabouts

The in basket: Don Rude asks,”Is there a law that prohibits folks from demonstrating, like car washes, voting preferences, etc, in the center of traffic circles?  I think it is a very bad distraction, as still many folks don’t really know how to drive the circles.”

The out basket: Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office says, “I’ve not been able to find anything in (state law) or Kitsap County Code that addresses this issue.

“I agree,” he continued “much like those young persons whom we observe spinning small surfboard size signs around on street corners proclaiming a sale event at a local retail store, those using the center or internal core of a traffic circle / roundabout are distracting to many drivers.

“I suppose if you really stretched the intent / meaning of the wording found in RCW 47.32.130(1) you might be able to make a case,” he said. It deals with “any structure, device, or natural or artificial thing that threatens or endangers the state highway or portion thereof, or that tends to endanger persons traveling thereon, or obstructs or tends to obstruct or constitutes a hazard to vehicles or persons traveling thereon,” saying that thing can be removed.

“The complaint brought up by Mr. Rude,” Scott concluded, “may have to be formally addressed by the state Legislature or a change made to the Kitsap County Code about distractions to drivers of motor vehicles where such distractions are in close proximity to streets / roadways. Then the definition of ‘distraction’ becomes a point of argument!”


3 thoughts on “No law against demonstrations in roundabouts

  1. While there may not be a specific law regarding demonstrations in the center of a roundabout… there ARE laws regarding jay walking in most areas.

    And since you will not find a marked crosswalk (or “unmarked crosswalk” by definition) leading to the center of the roundabout… the demonstrators would have a hard time explaining how they arrived there without breaking any laws.

  2. Not sure what the letter writer means by “voter preference” in a traffic circle/round-about. Do you mean holding campaign signage? Does the letter writer mean posting political signage? I think at least in Bremerton our ordinances clearly allow for campaign signs being allowed but a person standing inside waving one seems like a poor idea.

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