Washington Road Safety Bills Fail to Advance

Even as deaths in Wash­ing­ton sharply, the state leg­is­la­ture has large­ly aban­doned a set of bills that would have pri­or­i­tized road safe­ty, reports Ryan Pack­er for The Urban­ist.

Some impor­tant road safe­ty bills did make it through: “Among the changes that the leg­is­la­ture was able to this year, one like­ly to be the most impact­ful is new autho­riza­tion for the Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (WSDOT) to install auto­mat­ic speed cam­eras in high­way work zones.”

How­ev­er, SB 5002, which would have adopt­ed a 0.05% blood alco­hol stan­dard, failed after lob­by­ing from alco­hol indus­try . “Anoth­er high­ly antic­i­pat­ed bill this year was HB 1582, and its coun­ter­part, SB 5514, which would have required Wash­ing­ton cities to restrict free right-turn-on-red with­in 1000 feet of a school, park, library, hos­pi­tal, or oth­er high pedes­tri­an-traf­fic facil­i­ty, with direct sig­nage required at inter­sec­tion.” The bill did not advance.

As as the state con­tin­ues to focus on edu­ca­tion and enforce­ment in lieu of oth­er mea­sures, Pack­er sees poten­tial for progress. “The leg­is­la­ture this year demon­strat­ed that the alter­nate path, which actu­al­ly may incon­ve­nience some peo­ple, will be a much hard­er road. But more strin­gent lim­its on the oper­a­tion of vehi­cles are like­ly the only changes that will make a dif­fer­ence.”

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