Griffey bill to reopen public rest areas in Washington signed into law

Washington roadways will be safer after the governor signed a bill from Rep. Dan Griffey on Thursday that will expedite the reopening of safety rest areas throughout the state.

House Bill 1655 will allow all drivers to use safety rest areas starting in June of this year. Having enough open rest areas has been an ongoing issue for truck drivers throughout the country. However, state government made things worse in Washington when they ordered the closing of many state-owned and operated safety rest areas in the fall of 2021, due to the pandemic.

“This bill is going to help correct this ongoing problem, which will save lives,” said Griffey, R-Allyn. “Our truck drivers need all the help they can get. We need to make sure they can deliver the important goods we need, but we need them to be able to do it safely.”

HB 1655 directs 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 also allows the WSDOT to initiate a strategic planning process that addresses the maintenance, operation, and safety of its owned and operated safety rest areas.

“Helping our truck drivers should be one of our top priorities,” said Griffey. “And anything we can do to help prevent serious and fatal injuries, is a no-brainer. This action will make our roads safer and keep our economy moving.”

The 2022 legislative session ended March 10.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov