SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL NO. 6190


                                                            AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE


                                                                          C 270 L 90 PV



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1990 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care (originally sponsored by Senators West, Kreidler, Wojahn, Bailey, Nelson, McDonald, Warnke, Niemi, Conner and Stratton)



Read first time 1/12/90.



AN ACT Relating to prevention of head injuries; amending RCW 46.37.535; reenacting and amending RCW 46.37.530; adding new sections to chapter 43.70 RCW; and making an appropriation.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     This act shall be known and cited as the Head Injury Prevention Act of 1990.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     The legislature finds that head injury is a major cause of death and disability for Washington citizens.  The costs of head injury treatment and rehabilitation are extensive and resultant disabilities are long and indeterminate.  These costs are often borne by public programs such as medicaid.  The legislature finds further that many such injuries are preventable.  The legislature intends to reduce the occurrence of head injury by educating persons whose behavior may place them at risk and by regulating certain activities.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     As used in sections 1 through 6 of this act, the term "head injury" means traumatic brain injury.

          A head injury prevention program is created in the department of health.  The program's functions may be integrated with those of similar programs to promote comprehensive, integrated, and effective health promotion and disease prevention.

          In consultation with the traffic safety commission, the department shall, directly or by contract, identify and coordinate public education efforts currently underway within state government and among private groups to prevent traumatic brain injury, including, but not limited to, bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, bicycle passenger seat safety, motorcycle safety, motor vehicle safety, and sports safety.  If the department finds that programs are not available or not in use, it may, within funds appropriated for the purpose, provide grants to promote public education efforts.  Grants may be awarded only after recipients have demonstrated coordination with relevant and knowledgeable groups within their communities, including at least schools, brain injury support organizations, hospitals, physicians, traffic safety specialists, police, and the public.  The department may accept grants, gifts, and donations from public or private sources to use to carry out the head injury prevention program.

          The department may assess or contract for the assessment of the effectiveness of public education efforts coordinated or initiated by any agency of state government.  Agencies are directed to cooperate with assessment efforts by providing access to data and program records as reasonably required.  The department may seek and receive additional funds from the federal government or private sources for assessments.  Assessments shall contain findings and recommendations that will improve the effectiveness of public education efforts.  These findings shall be distributed among public and private groups concerned with traumatic brain injury prevention.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     The department of health, the department of licensing, and the traffic safety commission shall jointly prepare information for driver license manuals, driver education programs, and driving tests to increase driver awareness of pedestrian safety, to increase driver skills in avoiding pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents, and to determine drivers' abilities to avoid pedestrian motor vehicle accidents.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     The department shall establish a state-wide trauma registry to collect information on the incidence, severity, and causes of traumatic brain injury.  The state-wide trauma registry shall identify and track major brain injury cases from injury through rehabilitation or recovery.  The registry shall keep specific statistics on helmet and nonhelmet, motorcycle-related head and neck injuries.  Specific data elements of the registry, sources for collecting the data, and data collection procedures shall be determined by the department by rule.  Information obtained shall be used to design prevention and treatment programs.  By January 1, 1991, the department shall report to the legislature on the feasibility, cost, and benefits of expanding the registry requirements of this section to include information on minor brain injuries.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     The department shall prepare guidelines on relevant training and education regarding traumatic brain injury for health and education professionals, and relevant public safety and law enforcement officials.  The department shall distribute such guidelines and any recommendations for training or educational requirements for health professionals or educators to the disciplinary authorities governed by chapter 18.130 RCW and to educational service districts established under chapter 28A.21 RCW.  Specifically, all emergency medical personnel shall be trained in proper helmet removal.


        Sec. 7.  Section 4, chapter 232, Laws of 1967 as last amended by section 732, chapter 330, Laws of 1987 and by section 1, chapter 454, Laws of 1987 and RCW 46.37.530 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:

          (1) It is unlawful:

          (a) For any person to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle not equipped with mirrors on the left and right sides of the motorcycle which shall be so located as to give the driver a complete view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle:  PROVIDED, That mirrors shall not be required on any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle over twenty-five years old originally manufactured without mirrors and which has been restored to its original condition and which is being ridden to or from or otherwise in conjunction with an antique or classic motorcycle contest, show, or other such assemblage:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That no mirror is required on any motorcycle manufactured prior to January 1, 1931;

          (b) For any person to operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle which does not have a windshield unless wearing glasses, goggles, or a face shield of a type conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol;

          (c) For any person ((under the age of eighteen years)) to operate or ride upon a motorcycle ((or)), motor-driven cycle, or moped on a state highway, county road, or city street unless wearing upon his or her head a protective helmet of a type conforming to rules adopted by the ((commission on equipment)) state patrol except when the vehicle is an antique motor-driven cycle or automobile that is licensed as a motorcycle or when the vehicle is equipped with seat belts and roll bars approved by the state patrol.  The helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap which shall be fastened securely while the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle is in motion;

          (d) For any person to transport a child under the age of five on a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle;

          (e) For any person to sell or offer for sale a motorcycle helmet which does not meet the requirements established by the state patrol.

          (2) The state patrol is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt and amend rules, pursuant to the administrative procedure act, concerning the standards and procedures for conformance of rules adopted for glasses, goggles, face shields, and protective helmets.


        Sec. 8.  Section 10, chapter 232, Laws of 1967 as last amended by section 733, chapter 330, Laws of 1987 and RCW 46.37.535 are each amended to read as follows:

          It is unlawful for any person to rent out motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, or mopeds unless ((he)) the person also has on hand for rent helmets of a type conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol.

          It shall be unlawful for any person to rent a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped unless the person has in his or her possession a helmet of a type approved by the state patrol, regardless of from whom the helmet is obtained.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.     Sections 1 through 6 of this act are each added to chapter 43.70 RCW.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.    The sum of forty-nine thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the public safety and education account to the department of health for the biennium ending June 30, 1991, to carry out the purposes of this act.

                                                                                                                           Passed the Senate March 3, 1990.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.


                                                                                                                           Passed the House March 1, 1990.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.