5974-S AMS VAND S4667.1
SSB 5974 - S AMD 1174
By Senator Van De Wege
ADOPTED 02/15/2022
On page 120, after line 31, insert the following:
"NEW SECTION.  Sec. 433. Washington state's target zero program envisions Washington having policies that will lead to zero deaths of people using the transportation system. For almost two decades more than 200 people have lost their lives annually in circumstances where a vehicle unintentionally left its lane of travel. Such fatalities made up 48 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in 2019. There are multiple ways to make improvements on the highway system that have been proven in other locations to help reduce lane departures and fatalities. Sections 434 and 435 of this act are intended to direct resources towards deploying such improvements by requiring the Washington state department of transportation to create a program that is focused on addressing this specific safety concern.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 434. A new section is added to chapter 47.04 RCW to read as follows:
(1)(a) When an appropriation is made for this purpose, the department shall establish a reducing rural roadway departures program to provide funding for safety improvements specific to preventing lane departures in areas where the departure is likely to cause serious injuries or death. Funding under this program may be used to:
(i) Widen roadway shoulders or modify roadway design to improve visibility or reduce lane departure risks;
(ii) Improve markings and paint on roadways, including making markings on roads more visible for vehicles with lane departure technology;
(iii) Apply high friction surface treatments;
(iv) Install rumble strips, signage, lighting, raised barriers, medians, guardrails, cable barriers, or other safety equipment, including deployment of innovative technology and connected infrastructure devices;
(v) Remove or relocate fixed objects from rights-of-way that pose a significant risk of serious injury or death if a vehicle were to collide with the object due to a lane departure;
(vi) Repair or replace existing barriers that are damaged or nonfunctional; or
(vii) Take other reasonable actions that are deemed likely to address or prevent vehicle lane departures in specific areas of concern.
(b) The department must create a program whereby it can distribute funding or install safety improvements listed in (a) of this subsection on state, county, small city, or town roads in rural areas that have a high risk of having or actually have incidents of serious injuries or fatalities due to vehicle lane departures. Any installation of safety measures that are not under the jurisdiction of the department must be done with permission from the entity that is responsible for operation and maintenance of the roadway.
(c) The department's program must create a form and application process whereby towns, small cities, counties, and transportation benefit districts may apply for program funding for high risk areas in their jurisdictions in need of safety improvements.
(d) Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the department must issue program funding for purposes defined in (a) and (b) of this subsection in a geographically diverse manner throughout the state. Criteria used to assess a location can include the communities inability or lack of resources to make the corrections themselves and to make corrections where there has been historic disparate impacts.
(e) By December 31st of each year when there is funding distributed in accordance with this program, the department must provide the transportation committees of the legislature and the traffic safety commission with a list of locations that received funding and a description of the safety improvements installed there.
(2) During the first five years of the program, the department must track incidence of lane departures at the locations where the new infrastructure is installed and evaluate the effectiveness of the safety improvements.
Sec. 435. RCW 46.68.060 and 2021 c 333 s 706 are each amended to read as follows:
There is hereby created in the state treasury a fund to be known as the highway safety fund to the credit of which must be deposited all moneys directed by law to be deposited therein. This fund must be used for carrying out the provisions of law relating to driver licensing, driver improvement, financial responsibility, cost of furnishing abstracts of driving records and maintaining such case records, and to carry out the purposes set forth in RCW 43.59.010, ((and)) chapters 46.72 and 46.72A RCW, and section 434 of this act. During the 2013-2015 and 2015-2017 fiscal biennia, the legislature may transfer from the highway safety fund to the Puget Sound ferry operations account, the motor vehicle fund, and the multimodal transportation account such amounts as reflect the excess fund balance of the highway safety fund. During the 2017-2019, 2019-2021, and 2021-2023 fiscal biennia, the legislature may direct the state treasurer to make transfers of moneys in the highway safety fund to the multimodal transportation account and the state patrol highway account."
SSB 5974 - S AMD 1174
By Senator Van De Wege
ADOPTED 02/15/2022
On page 1, line 9 of the title, after "70A.65.230," strike "and 46.68.480" and insert "46.68.480, and 46.68.060"
EFFECT: (1) Adds an intent section stating that this act is intended to direct resources towards deploying improvements to reduce roadway fatalities caused by a vehicle unintentionally leaving its lane of travel by requiring the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to create a program that is focused on addressing this specific safety concern.
(2) Establishes a Reducing Rural Roadway Departures Program (program) in WSDOT to provide funding for safety improvements to prevent lane departures in areas where the departure is likely to cause serious injuries or death, if an appropriation is provided.
(3) Requires WSDOT to provide a list of the locations receiving funding from the program with a description of the safety improvements to the transportation committees and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission by December 31st each year.
(4) Amends the highway safety fund statute to allow funds in the account to be used to implement the program.
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