SB 6245

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of January 26, 2012

Title: An act relating to unlawful ferry conduct.

Brief Description: Concerning unlawful ferry conduct.

Sponsors: Senators Ranker, King, Haugen, Eide and Nelson; by request of Washington State Patrol.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Transportation: 1/25/12.


Staff: Hayley Gamble (786-7452)

Background: In 2009 the statute pertaining to unlawful bus conduct was revised and replaced with unlawful transit conduct. The existing unlawful transit conduct statute in RCW 9.91.025 only applies to local transit authorities and not to the Washington State Ferry (WSF) system. The list of transit conduct that is unlawful under RCW 9.91.025 includes unreasonably disturbing others with loud or harassing behavior; possessing or tendering an unissued fare media; falsely claiming to be a transit employee; engaging in gambling; skating or riding on a skateboard; and engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with the intended use and purpose of the transit facility, transit station, or transit vehicle and refusing to obey the commands of an agent of the transit authority to stop the conduct.

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is responsible for law enforcement at terminals and aboard vessels belonging to WSF. Currently, the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct may be issued by WSP for certain behavior on the WSF system.

Summary of Bill: The bill as referred to committee not considered.

Summary of Bill (Proposed Substitute): The misdemeanor of unlawful ferry conduct is created. The list of ferry conduct that is unlawful at or on a WSF vessel or facility is similar to that of unlawful transit conduct, and includes knowingly disturbing others with loud or harassing behavior; tendering a fraudulent fare; falsely claiming to be a ferry employee; gambling, skating, skateboarding, smoking, littering; failing to maintain control of a pet; and engaging in conduct that is inconsistent with the intended use and purpose of the ferry facility or vessel and refusing to obey the commands of a WSF agent or peace officer to stop the conduct.

Ferry vessel and ferry facility are defined to only apply to those used by WSF.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill was requested by the WSP. This law is needed to keep the public safe and is modeled on unlawful transit conduct, with the addition of a leash law. WSP uses its canine units on the WSF system and in order for this unit to function, dogs belonging to the public need to be maintained under control. This bill provides the legal backing needed to enforce laws consistently, as similar laws already exist in other locations.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Jason Berry, WSP.