House approves latest Kagi road safety bill

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rep. Ruth Kagi D-32
OLYMPIA – A measure to help improve safety on roads and highways by requiring vehicles hauling sand, rock, gravel or dirt to cover those loads passed the state House over the weekend. 

Sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32 – Shoreline), the bill closes a gap in state law pertaining to unsecured loads. Road safety is one of Kagi’s top legislative priorities; she sponsored “Maria’s Law” in 2005 after a woman named Maria Federici was blinded and disfigured by a piece of furniture that fell from a trailer and flew through her car windshield.

“Maria’s Law concerned unsecured loads, but it didn’t deal with things like rocks and gravel, which can be especially hazardous to motorcyclists,” Kagi said. “By passing this bill, we’re finishing the efforts we started in 2005 to make our roads safer for the traveling public.”

The coverage requirement would not apply to state and local government vehicles that are applying sand or gravel for de-icing purposes, or other emergency road operations. 

The House approved the bill on March 9, sending it over to the state Senate for consideration.  It has since been referred to the Senate Transportation committee and awaits a hearing.

Besides the safety hazard posed by uncovered loads, Kagi points out that even small rocks can cause property damage to cars.

“Nobody likes a dinged windshield or chipped paint on their car,” Kagi said. “Data has shown that the primary source of this damage is uncovered loads of dirt, rocks and gravel.”

The bill number is HB 1007.

Kagi represents the 32nd Legislative District, including Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Lynnwood, part of Mountlake Terrace, south Edmonds, and Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County.


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