Washington state law puts 'worst of the worst' on notice

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, April 05, 2012

A new truck law soon to take effect in Washington state is intended to make roadways safer.

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill to get tough with “the worst of the worst” trucking operations that disregard out-of-service orders. Previously HB2459, the new law takes effect June 7, 2012.

Once in place, law enforcement will be authorized to confiscate license plates from motor carriers that continue to operate with a revoked registration.

In an effort to improve safety on roadways, Washington State Patrol, city police and county sheriffs’ deputies will be required to take plates off trucks in operation while the vehicle registration is revoked, suspended, or canceled. The authority to pull plates will apply to trucks and tractors.

Law enforcement will be responsible for either recycling or destroying plates on all vehicles in an affected fleet.

Supporters said the rule will provide a much-needed tool for law enforcement.

During testimony on the bill, Larry Pursley, executive vice president of the Washington Trucking Association, said police will be allowed “to get at the one-tenth of 1 percent of the carriers out there that continue to flaunt their illegal activity and operate after they have been placed out of service.”

Washington State Patrol Captain Jason Berry shared similar sentiments with lawmakers.

“It’s one more step toward compliance for these companies that are really out of control and have proven to be a danger to the public,” Berry said.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Washington, click here.

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