Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/29/2004 04:12 PM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
             CSHB 438(JUD) am-MOVE OVER LAW FOR DRIVERS                                                                     
CHAIR GARY STEVENS announced the first order of business to come                                                                
before the committee to be CSHB 438(JUD) am.                                                                                    
MATHEW RUDIG, staff  to Representative Jim Holm, stated  that this is                                                           
a key  piece of legislation to  improve the safety of  public safety,                                                           
fire  and emergency  workers  that work  on the  edge  of a  roadway.                                                           
According to  the national law  enforcement officers'  memorial fund,                                                           
93 law enforcement  officers were struck and killed  by vehicles from                                                           
1997 to 2002. Establishing the bill  in statute encourages the public                                                           
to recognize that caution is  needed when passing emergency personnel                                                           
and provides penalties for those that disobey the law.                                                                          
He  pointed  out   that  30  states  have   already  enacted  similar                                                           
legislation and that  Fairbanks police officers have  sent in written                                                           
testimony in support of HB 438.                                                                                                 
CHAIR GARY  STEVENS noted there  was an  amendment in the  packet and                                                           
asked whether he intended to present that.                                                                                      
MR.  RUDIG said  the  proposal came  from  the  Department of  Public                                                           
Safety  and  they have  no  objection  to  the amendment.  It  simply                                                           
clarifies the statute.                                                                                                          
                        A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                 
OFFERED IN THE SENATE                                                                                                           
     TO:  CSHB 438(JUD) am                                                                                                      
Page 1, line 11:                                                                                                                
     Delete "below the speed limit"                                                                                             
     Insert "considering the traffic, roadway, and weather                                                                      
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked for a motion to adopt amendment 1.                                                                     
SENATOR JOHN  COWDERY motioned to adopt  amendment 1. There  being no                                                           
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
LT. AL  STOREY, Alaska  State Trooper,  testified via  teleconference                                                           
and thanked  Mr. Rudig for his  excellent introduction. He  said that                                                           
the amendment mirrors the language in  13 AA 02.275(a) and gives them                                                           
elements that  they could  describe in an  adjudication process  if a                                                           
citation were issued.                                                                                                           
SHELLY OWENS,  health program manager  with the Department  of Health                                                           
and Social  Services, stated that  the department supports  the bill.                                                           
The  danger  to  emergency  personnel when  they  are  responding  to                                                           
roadside emergencies is  well documented and it's  believed that this                                                           
bill  will reduce  the incidence  of  secondary collisions  resulting                                                           
from   inattentive  and   distracted  drivers.   In  conclusion   she                                                           
reiterated  that the  department  supports a  variety  of efforts  to                                                           
reduce  the  number  and  severity of  injuries  to  fire,  emergency                                                           
medical service, and law enforcement personnel.                                                                                 
CHAIR GARY STEVENS asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                                                     
SENATOR COWDERY motioned  to report SCS CSHB  438(STA) from committee                                                           
with  individual recommendations  and  attached  fiscal notes.  There                                                           
being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                          

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