Question: “I see a lot of people ignore and go through a red on-ramp traffic signal. Is this legal or can a violation be issued to drivers?”
– Curtis Lewis, Puyallup
Answer: It is not legal to ignore the light. A ramp meter signal has the same status as any other signal and running through it is considered failing to obey a traffic signal, confirms Washington State Patrol spokesman J.J. Gundermann.
The Washington State Department of Transportation offer this guidance for motorists encountering ramp meters: “Drive your vehicle up to the white line, or stop bar, to trigger the ramp meter. If the light is red, stop at the white line. When the light turns green, merge onto the freeway. If there is a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) bypass lane, buses, carpools and vanpools do not have to stop at the ramp meter signal. They have the right of way over vehicles merging into traffic from the metered lane.”