Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/04/2004 01:45 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 316-SEAT BELT VIOLATION AS PRIMARY OFFENSE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM  announced that  the next order  of business  would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 316,  "An Act relating  to motor  vehicle safety                                                               
belt violations."                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM reminded the committee  that testimony has been closed                                                               
on SB 316.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1775                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH  moved that the committee  adopt Amendment                                                               
1, which read:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3:                                                                                                            
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Section 1.  AS 28.05.095(e) is amended to read:                                                                  
          (e)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law,                                                                      
     a peace officer may not  stop or detain a motor vehicle                                                                    
     not   being  operated   on  a   highway  to   determine                                                                
     compliance  with  (a)  of  this  section,  or  issue  a                                                                    
     citation  for  a  violation of  (a)  of  this  section,                                                                    
     unless the peace officer has  probable cause to stop or                                                                    
     detain the motor vehicle other  than for a violation of                                                                    
     (a) of this section."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH pointed  out  that seat  belt laws  apply                                                               
throughout  the state,  even  in locations  off  the road  system                                                               
where there are no highways.   Representative Kookesh opined that                                                               
he didn't want this [proposed law]  to be used as the only reason                                                               
to stop a vehicle in rural Alaska.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN  WICKERSHAM,  Staff to  Senator  Con  Bunde, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, spoke  on behalf of  the sponsor of SB  316, Senator                                                               
Bunde.  Ms. Wickersham confirmed  that SB 316 primarily [targets]                                                               
urban areas.   She related that Senator Bunde wanted  there to be                                                               
as  much  freedom  for  off-road activities  in  rural  areas  as                                                               
possible.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM inquired as to why  it would be any less dangerous for                                                               
an  individual to  be thrown  out of  a vehicle  in urban  Alaska                                                               
versus rural Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. WICKERSHAM  said, "It isn't  necessarily less  dangerous, the                                                               
point of the bill is ...  in urban areas ... individuals that are                                                               
not  involved, necessarily  in car  crashes, are  paying for  the                                                               
costs of the car crashes."   She related that in the rural areas,                                                               
a  lot  of  times  individuals are  not  insured  plus  accidents                                                               
occurring in  an off-road situation wouldn't  necessarily involve                                                               
other individuals  because off-road activities are  probably more                                                               
of a private activity than driving on public roads.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM suggested  that Ms. Wickersham is  arguing against the                                                               
legislation  because he  understood that  people would  use their                                                               
seat belt if this legislation is implemented.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH related  the situation  in rural  Alaska.                                                               
For instance,  in Angoon the  speed limit  is 15 miles  per hour.                                                               
He  reiterated that  he didn't  want this  legislation to  be the                                                               
impetus  for law  enforcement to  stop vehicles  in rural  Alaska                                                               
just to determine whether seat belts are being used.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH  said   that  Representative  Kookesh's                                                               
argument is the  same reason he doesn't want  this legislation to                                                               
be implemented in  urban Alaska.  What's good  for [urban] Alaska                                                               
should be good for [rural] Alaska, he opined.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1629                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM maintained his objection to Amendment 1.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Kohring,  Ogg,                                                               
Kapsner,   and   Kookesh  voted   in   favor   of  Amendment   1.                                                               
Representatives  Stepovich, Masek,  and  Holm  voted against  it.                                                               
Therefore, Amendment 1 was adopted by a vote of 4-3.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM,  in response to  Representative Kookesh,  stated that                                                               
the next committee of referral for  SB 316 is the House Judiciary                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE    STEPOVICH   related    similar   concerns    as                                                               
Representative Kookesh  regarding law  enforcement being  able to                                                               
stop an  individual merely to determine  if he or she  is wearing                                                               
his or her seat belt.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK  echoed the same concerns  as Representative                                                               
Stepovich.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM,  in response  to Representative  Stepovich, confirmed                                                               
that SB 316 has two indeterminate fiscal notes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1489                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved  to report SB 316, as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVES STEPOVICH and MASEK objected.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call vote  was  taken.   Representatives  Kohring,  Ogg,                                                               
Kapsner,  and Kookesh  voted in  favor  of reporting  SB 316,  as                                                               
amended, from  committee.  Representatives Stepovich,  Masek, and                                                               
Holm voted against  it.  Therefore, HCS SB  316(TRA) was reported                                                               
out of the  House Transportation Standing Committee by  a vote of                                                               
4-3.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

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