Unsafe trucking companies are the subject of a bill moving
through the Washington Legislature.
Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Lake Forest Park, has introduced a bill
that would make it easier to shut down trucking operations in the state with
faulty trucks and people who drive them recklessly.
Washington state law now allows companies operating solely
intrastate to avoid many of the same tough requirements as those companies that
The House voted 88-9 to approve a bill that would authorize
the Washington State Patrol more authority to monitor, inspect and penalize
intrastate carriers. It has been forwarded to the Senate.
Commercial vehicles operating solely in the state weighing
in excess of 26,000 pounds or hauling hazardous materials would be required to
have U.S. Department of Transportation identification numbers.
If a company's truck is deemed unsafe or if there are other
violations, the State Patrol or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
could place all trucks owned by the company out-of-service. The OOS order would
be lifted once fines were paid and any problems fixed.
Trip permit fees and registration fees also would be
increased by $5 and $6, respectively. The revenue would be tagged for
Kagi said the protections are needed to prevent a repeat of
an incident from 2005 when an overloaded logging truck lost its load north of
Hoquiam, WA, on U.S. 101.
In that incident the truck, driven by Garland Massingham of
Centralia, WA, dumped a load of logs onto a vehicle and the two occupants were
killed, The Seattle Times reported.
Massingham allegedly was on methamphetamine and driving an
overloaded truck too fast into a curve when the incident occurred. He was
allowed to continue to drive truck until this January when he was sentenced to
four and one-half years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide, The Times reported.
According to KOMO-TV
in Seattle, Massingham was involved in another wreck while he awaited
The bill - HB1304 - is in the Senate Transportation