HOUSE BILL REPORT
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 Reported by House Committee On:
Title: An act relating to bringing the state into compliance with the federal FAST act.
Brief Description: Bringing the state into compliance with the federal FAST act.
Sponsors: Representatives Valdez, Orcutt, Clibborn and McBride; by request of Department of Transportation.
Transportation: 1/22/18, 1/24/18 [DP].
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 23 members: Representatives Clibborn, Chair; Fey, Vice Chair; Wylie, Vice Chair; Orcutt, Ranking Minority Member; Hargrove, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Harmsworth, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chapman, Gregerson, Irwin, Kloba, Lovick, McBride, Ortiz-Self, Pellicciotti, Pike, Riccelli, Rodne, Shea, Stambaugh, Tarleton, Valdez, Van Werven and Young.
Staff: Jessica Harrell (786-7140).
State law sets the maximum allowable lengths for operating a vehicle on public highways, limiting the overall length to 40 feet unless the vehicle meets certain specified exceptions. Additionally, operation of any combination of a tractor and semi-trailer is limited to a length that may not exceed 53 feet, except in the case of a tractor and two trailers, in which case the length is limited to 61 feet.
The federal Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), signed into law on December 4, 2015, included a number of provisions that modify federal requirements regarding the size and weight of vehicles that may travel on the Interstate System and the National Network. The Washington State Department of Transportation is required to comply with 49 U.S.C. 31111 (Length Limitations) in order to be eligible for federal-aid highway funds. Washington received approximately $728 million in federal aid-highway funding for federal fiscal year 2017.
Summary of Bill:
An exception is provided for the length limitation for two trailers or semi-trailers in instances where the weight does not exceed 26,000 pounds and when the trailers or semi-trailers do not carry property but constitute inventory property of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer of such trailers. Trailers or semi-trailers that meet these criteria are limited to a length that may not exceed 82 feet of overall length.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) This legislation brings the state in compliance with the FAST Act by revising the length limitations of trailers or semi-trailers to a length that may not exceed 82 feet. This change pertains to light and medium trailers. The types of vehicles that are impacted by this revision include livestock trailers and blood drive vehicles. If the state does not make this change, putting it in compliance with the FAST Act, there is a risk to federal dollars the state receives.
The 2015 FAST Act revised federal law regarding light and medium duty trailers. It prohibits the state from permitting a length that exceeds 82 feet or a weight that exceeds 26,000 pounds. The changes proposed will align the Revised Code of Washington to the FAST Act. To clarify, the funding at risk if this legislation is not adopted is 7 percent of the federal aid-highway funding.
Persons Testifying: Representative Valdez, prime sponsor; and Travis Snell, Washington State Department of Transportation.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.