In Seattle and other cities throughout Washington, pedestrian interference is a misdemeanor. Learn how the law defines it, and the penalties that a person charged with the crime might face. If someone suffers injuries because of it, then the victim has grounds to take legal action.
What is pedestrian interference?
In an effort to keep pedestrians safe, Seattle prohibits interfering with pedestrians.
According to the Seattle Municipal Code Section12A.12.015(A)(4), “Obstruct pedestrian or vehicle traffic,” refers to walking, sitting, standing, or otherwise blocking passage by another person or vehicle. It also refers to such actions that require the person or vehicle take evasive action to avoid contact with an obstruction (which might be a person or object).
If a person engages in the above conduct but the act is an exercise of constitutional rights to picket or protest or the person has an appropriate permit, then the definition above does not apply.
A person is guilty of this crime if she obstructs pedestrian or vehicular traffic as defined above or “aggressively begs.” The latter action means to “beg with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods,” according to Seattle Municipal Code Section 12A.12.015(A)(1).
Penalties for Interference or Obstruction
If a person intentionally interferes with or obstructs pedestrian or vehicular movement, she is guilty of a misdemeanor. Per the Seattle Municipal Code Section 12A.02.070(B), a misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or by imprisonment of up to 90 days.
What if I suffered injuries because of another’s interference or obstruction?
In some cases, the interference with and/or obstruction of a pedestrian or driver can lead to a pedestrian accident and resultant injury. While it’s not common, it does happen. For example, a person’s obstruction of your walkway may lead you to trip and fall. Or if you must take evasive action to avoid the interference, you may find yourself walking on a hazardous surface.
As such, if someone has violated your rights and if that violation caused you harm, you may have a personal injury case against that party. You may be able to recover compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages/reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more depending on your case.
At Max Meyers Law, PLLC, our attorneys are ready to evaluate your case today. If you’re eager to begin, call our offices now at or contact us online.