House unanimously passes Griffey’s bill to reopen public rest areas

Rep. Dan Griffey's efforts to get safety rest areas throughout the state reopened as soon as possible is one step closer to becoming law.

House Bill 1655 was unanimously passed by the House on Wednesday. The bill would keep Washington roads safe, by allowing all drivers to use safety rest areas immediately. This is a growing safety concern throughout the entire country. However, it has been exacerbated in Washington, after state government ordered the closing of many state-owned and operated safety rest areas in the fall of 2021 due to the pandemic.

“We need to pass this bill now. It's going to save lives,” said Griffey, R-Allyn. “There are already too many safety hazards on our roadways, without having to worry about semi-trucks precariously parked on the side of busy freeways and highways. Our truck drivers need to be able to safely park and rest as mandated by law.”

House Bill 1655 would direct the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to reconfigure its maintenance operations to assure state-owned and operated safety rest areas are open for use except for seasonal closures or cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.

It would also allow the WSDOT to initiate a strategic planning process that addresses the maintenance, operation, and safety of its owned and operated safety rest areas.

“Almost every good we use, including food, medical equipment, and medications, spends time on a truck. We can't overlook the value of truck drivers and the service they provide,” added Griffey. “Opening these rest areas will prevent serious and fatal injuries and make our roads safer for everyone. It will also keep our economy moving.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Today is the 31st day of the 2022 legislative session, which is scheduled to end March 10.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov