Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

04/13/2017 05:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ HB 204 OVERTAKING/PASSING DOT VEHICLES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 204(JUD) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ SB 55 OMNIBUS CRIME/CORRECTIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 55(FIN) Out of Committee
Uniform Rule 23(a) Waived
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 79 OMNIBUS WORKERS' COMPENSATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 79(JUD) Out of Committee
             HB 204-OVERTAKING/PASSING DOT VEHICLES                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:39:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 204, "An  Act relating to overtaking  and passing                                                               
certain stationary vehicles."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI,  Alaska State Legislature, advised                                                               
that under current  statute, AS 28.35.185, commonly  known as the                                                               
"Move  Over Law,"  drivers are  required to  move to  the nearest                                                               
lane and  slow down when approaching  [stationary] vehicles, such                                                               
as fire,  law enforcement and emergency  vehicles, animal control                                                               
vehicles, and tow  trucks in the act of loading  a vehicle.  This                                                               
bill includes,  within those certain vehicles,  the Department of                                                               
Transportation (DOT)  vehicles when using their  flashing lights,                                                               
and with  workers performing road  maintenance or road work.   In                                                               
the event a  driver approaches one of these  vehicles, with their                                                               
lights flashing, on the highway  with two or more lanes traveling                                                               
in  the same  direction, the  driver would  vacate that  lane and                                                               
move  safely into  the closest  lane.   In the  event there  were                                                               
fewer than two lanes traveling  in the same direction, the driver                                                               
would slow down to a reasonable speed.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI reminded  the  committee  that in  2012,                                                               
Robert Hammel, a  DOT employee, was tragically  struck and killed                                                               
while laying  down traffic cones  to alert drivers of  a stranded                                                               
vehicle  on the  side of  the roadway  at Mile  88 on  the Seward                                                               
Highway.   He  related that  Mr. Hammel's  name was  incorporated                                                               
into the committee substitute for HB 204.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  advised  that the  penalty  under  this                                                               
statute would  be considered a "failure  to move over," and  is a                                                               
class A  misdemeanor if  personal injury  resulted in  a person's                                                               
failure to vacate a  lane or slow down.  In  the event a "failure                                                               
to move over" did not result  in personal injury it is punishable                                                               
by a  $150 traffic  infraction with  two points  assessed against                                                               
the person's driver's license.   He offered that this statute has                                                               
been in effect  since September 2005, and under  this statute for                                                               
the Department of Transportation  & Public Facilities (DOT) there                                                               
were  23  violations in  2016;  14  violations  in 2015;  and  53                                                               
violations  in  2014.     In  March  2017,   two  South  Carolina                                                               
Department  of Transportation  safety workers  were killed  while                                                               
working,  and  there is  legislation  across  the nation  dealing                                                               
specifically with this issue, he advised.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN noted that  the language deals solely with                                                               
stationary  vehicles,   and  asked  whether  there   had  been  a                                                               
discussion regarding  vehicles moving at a  slow speed performing                                                               
some type of road work.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI answered that  issue was not specifically                                                               
addressed  in this  bill.   He referred  to slow  moving vehicles                                                               
denoted  with a  "slow  moving"  vehicle sign,  and  said he  was                                                               
unsure whether that was found in this statute.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:45:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FANSLER  moved to  adopt  CSHB  204, Version  30-                                                               
LS0685\D, Martin, 4/8/17,  as the working document.   There being                                                               
no objection, Version D was before the committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MERCEDES  COLBERT, Staff,  Representative Scott  Kawasaki, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  responded  to  Representative  Eastman  that                                                               
there  had  been  discussions  with  other  contractors  and  DOT                                                               
representatives, and  found there currently  is not a  statute in                                                               
place  for  slow  moving  vehicles,   and  she  deferred  to  the                                                               
Department of Law and the Alaska State Troopers online.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  surmised  that  currently  there  is  no                                                               
penalty in statute.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI  reiterated  that  he  did  not  include                                                               
language regarding slow moving vehicles within this bill.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:47:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP said  he strongly  supports  this bill,  and                                                               
agreed  that  this   section  of  title  28   deals  solely  with                                                               
stationary emergency  vehicles.  He  described that the  issue of                                                               
slow moving vehicles would require  an extensive re-write because                                                               
if  a driver  comes upon  a  slow moving  emergency vehicle,  "we                                                               
don't know" which way it will  travel.  He commented that the law                                                               
should not  direct a  person to  try to  go around  the emergency                                                               
vehicle  because it  may be  more  appropriate to  move over  and                                                               
stop, such as with oncoming  emergency vehicles currently.  It is                                                               
a  different   situation,  he  said,  and   should  be  addressed                                                               
separately in the law.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:48:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN   asked  whether  there   are  situations                                                               
wherein a  DOT vehicle would stop  to render aid to  an emergency                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI answered  that  Mr. Hammel  was in  that                                                               
particular type  of situation, and  described that at the  time a                                                               
state trooper was rendering aid to  a vehicle stopped on the side                                                               
of the  road, and he was  called to a  case 10 miles away  on the                                                               
Seward   Highway.     Mr.  Hammel,   in  working   alongside  law                                                               
enforcement,  placed the  traffic  cones to  ensure the  stranded                                                               
vehicle did  not become a  further hazard for other  drivers when                                                               
he was struck and killed, he related.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:49:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  opined  that   it  was  not  immediately                                                               
apparent  that someone  not performing  maintenance  on the  road                                                               
would be covered.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  replied that  the language  was accurate                                                               
because if the  vehicle was in the act  of performing maintenance                                                               
or road service work, that person would be covered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN opened public hearing on CSHB 204.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:50:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COFFEY, Director, South  Coast Region, Statewide Maintenance                                                               
and Statewide Operation Director,  Department of Transportation &                                                               
Public Facilities (DOTPF), advised he  has been employed with the                                                               
Department of  Transportation & Public  Facilities for  35 years,                                                               
and approximately 20 years of  that time involved maintenance and                                                               
operations  in   all  three  regions   across  the  state.     He                                                               
highlighted that every day Alaska  DOT maintenance and operations                                                               
personnel  serve  in harm's  way  while  working on  the  state's                                                               
highways.   Throughout the  state, he  said, people  often ignore                                                               
traffic  work zones,  they do  not obey  flaggers' order  causing                                                               
flaggers to take  evasive actions and numerous times  have had to                                                               
jump  in a  ditch  to get  out  of the  way  of errant  vehicles.                                                               
Maintenance  and  operations  folks perform  "mobile  operations"                                                               
such as  filling a pot  hole, and  he described that  the vehicle                                                               
pulls alongside  the road with  flashing lights,  the maintenance                                                               
crew gets out,  quickly fills the pot hole, and  moves on.  Also,                                                               
crews  will lay  out cones  ahead of  the workers  establishing a                                                               
work zone, and without the work  zone set up these are situations                                                               
where  the  department's  employees  are  most  vulnerable.    He                                                               
pointed out that nationally, more  than 35,000 people are injured                                                               
in  work   zones  every  year,  and   approximately  700  people,                                                               
including  130   maintenance  and  operations   and  construction                                                               
workers,  are  killed in  work  zones  every  year.   The  Alaska                                                               
Department of  Transportation &  Public Facilities  supports CSHB                                                               
204, he stated.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:54:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   related   that   he   had   the                                                               
opportunity  to  work  with  Mr.   Coffey,  and  appreciates  his                                                               
commitment  to   the  Department   of  Transportation   &  Public                                                               
Facilities and the services he performs in Alaskan communities.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  CLAMAN,  after  ascertaining  no one  wished  to  testify,                                                               
closed public testimony on CSHB 204.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:55:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  asked Captain  Lowden whether it  was his                                                               
understanding  that this  legislation  would  affect a  situation                                                               
wherein a DOT employee was out  of their vehicle rendering aid to                                                               
a disabled motorist or a car accident victim.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:55:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN   DAN  LOWDEN,   Division  of   Alaska  State   Troopers,                                                               
Department of Public  Safety (DPS), pointed out that he  is not a                                                               
lawyer, but surmised that because  they were not doing road work,                                                               
maybe  not.   In the  event there  were other  emergency vehicles                                                               
there, he opined,  they would be covered in the  sense that there                                                               
would  be  other  vehicles  there  that  the  violator  would  be                                                               
passing.   He added that  in the  event the employee  and vehicle                                                               
were  there by  themselves, some  folks may  read this  bill that                                                               
they were not covered.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  reminded the  committee that the  mission of                                                               
the DOT is  to keep Alaska moving; therefore,  every single thing                                                               
they do  is to keep motorists  moving and road service  work is a                                                               
"very broad" term.  He related  that in his plain view reading of                                                               
the bill,  road service work  is the broadest possible  term that                                                               
would cover all possible work on  the road to keep Alaska moving,                                                               
and certainly attending to motorists in need is included.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR CLAMAN added  that a disabled vehicle on the  roadside is a                                                               
hazard to traffic,  and assisting in moving that  vehicle off the                                                               
road,  under  the narrowest  view  of  road service  work,  would                                                               
certainly be road service work.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:58:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FANSLER moved to report  CSHB 204 out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There  being no objection, CSHB 204(JUD)  passed from the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB204 Draft Proposed CS ver D 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Explanation of Changes 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 CS (JUD) Sponsor Statement 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 ver A 4.13.17.PDF HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Sectional Analysis ver A 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-AAA State Move Over Laws 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-Minor Offenses Table 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-DoT Work Zone Safety Week PR 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-Delaware Move Over Law Informational 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-Citation Statistics 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Fiscal Note DPS-AST 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 204
SB55 ver T 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Sponsor Statement ver T 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Bill Contents ver T 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Summary of Changes ver D to T 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Sectional Summary ver T 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Additional Documents-ACJC Recommendations 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Fiscal Note JUD-ACS 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
SB55 Fiscal Note Various-Executive 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
SB 55
HB079 ver O 3.27.17.pdf HJUD 3/31/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Transmittal Letter 3.27.17.pdf HJUD 3/31/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Sectional Analysis ver O 3.27.17.pdf HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Letters Index 4.3.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 4.3.17.pdf HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB079 Opposing Document-Letters of Opposition 4.3.17.PDF HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB079 Additional Document-Sponsor's Reply to House Judiciary Committee Questions 4.5.17.pdf HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Document-Letter Alaska State Home Building Association 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Document-Letter Alaska Trucking Association 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Supporting Document-Letter NFIB 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Amendments #1-9 HJUD Final Votes 4.13.17.pdf HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Fiscal Note DOA-DRM 3.27.17.pdf HJUD 3/31/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Fiscal Note DOLWD-WC 3.28.17.pdf HJUD 3/31/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79
HB079 Fiscal Note DOLWD-SIF 3.27.17.pdf HJUD 3/31/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/5/2017 1:00:00 PM
HJUD 4/13/2017 5:30:00 PM
HB 79