Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/10/1995 01:40 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                            
                         April 10, 1995                                        
                           1:40 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Gary Davis, Chairman                                           
 Representative Beverly Masek, Vice Chair                                      
 Representative Jerry Sanders                                                  
 Representative Bill Williams                                                  
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 Representative Jeannette James                                                
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Eileen MacLean                                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 * HB 287:    "An Act relating to outdoor advertising on trash                 
              receptacles and restrictions on outdoor advertising."            
                                                                               
              PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                          
                                                                               
 * HB 277:    "An Act relating to issuance of instruction permits to           
          operate a snowmobile."                                               
                                                                               
              HEARD AND HELD                                                   
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 110                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone: (907) 465-4968                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of HB 287                                  
                                                                               
 RACE JONES, President                                                         
 CanAd                                                                         
 P.O. Box 111725                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99511                                                      
 Telephone: (907) 522-4328                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supports HB 287                                          
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 406                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone: (907) 465-4859                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of HB 277                                  
                                                                               
 MEGAN BUCK, Student                                                           
 P. O. Box 1486                                                                
 Valdez, Alaska  99686                                                         
 Telephone: (907) 835-5663                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 277                                            
                                                                               
 BRADY STREET, Student                                                         
 P.O. Box 212                                                                  
 Valdez, Alaska  99686                                                         
 Telephone: (907) 835-5000                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 277                                           
                                                                               
 RYAN MORGAN, Student                                                          
 P.O. Box 924                                                                  
 Valdez, Alaska  99686                                                         
 Telephone: (907) 835-2457                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HB 277                                            
                                                                               
 DEAN BIALIK                                                                   
 P.O. Box 1020                                                                 
 Delta Junction, Alaska  99737                                                 
 Telephone: (907) 895-4606                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 277                                           
                                                                               
 BERNARD GOODNO                                                                
 P.O. Box 92                                                                   
 Delta Junction, Alaska  99737                                                 
 Telephone: (907) 895-4000                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 277                                           
                                                                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief of Driver Services                                     
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0020                                                    
 Telephone: (907) 465-4361                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided technical information for HB 277                
                                                                               
 JERRY JERNIGAN, Owner                                                         
 Tok Recreational Vehicle Village; and                                         
 Member, Tok Chamber of Commerce                                               
 P.O. Box 741                                                                  
 Tok, Alaska  99780                                                            
 Telephone: (907) 883-5877                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 277                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 287                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: OUTDOOR ADVERTISING                                              
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG BY REQUEST                             
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/29/95       978    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/29/95       979    (H)   TRANSPORTATION                                    
 04/07/95              (H)   TRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 04/10/95              (H)   TRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                              
 BILL:  HB 277                                                                
 SHORT TITLE: PERMITS FOR DRIVING SNOWMOBILES                                  
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KUBINA                                          
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 03/24/95       895    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/24/95       896    (H)   TRANSPORTATION, FINANCE                           
 04/10/95              (H)   TRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 95-15, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 000                                                                    
                                                                               
 The House Transportation Committee was called to order by Chairman            
 Gary Davis at 1:40 p.m.  Members present at the call to order were            
 Representatives Davis, Williams, Sanders, Brice, James and Masek.             
 Members absent were Representatives MacLean.                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS announced the agenda was to hear testimony on             
 HB 287 and HB 277 in that order.  He asked Representative Rokeberg            
 to present HB 287.                                                            
                                                                               
 HB 287 - OUTDOOR ADVERTISING                                                 
                                                                              
 Number 012                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, prime sponsor of HB 287, presented            
 the committee with a color photograph depicting the actual                    
 configuration of the suggested trash receptacle.  He said Mr. Race            
 Jones will give testimony on this concept.  He explained HB 287               
 passed both Houses last year but was vetoed by the Governor.  HB
 287 is a positive small business economic development bill that               
 allows for the beautification and cleanup of areas.  He indicated             
 the bill package contained a letter from the previous Commissioner            
 of the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT/PF)              
 indicating because both Alaska Statute 19.25.110 and Alaska                   
 Administrative Code 20.010 only allow advertising on bus benches              
 and bus shelters, the department does not have the authority to               
 approve this request.  Representative Rokeberg indicated there were           
 other supporting letters from Assembly members from the                       
 municipality of Anchorage and Mayor Mystrom supporting this concept           
 which already exists in Anchorage.  He indicated HB 287 has a zero            
 fiscal note, or, may even have a positive one if the Department of            
 Transportation adopts a permitting fee, which is also in place in             
 Anchorage.  He asked for the Committee's support and said he was              
 available for questions.                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 067                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS announced Mr. Race Jones, who is scheduled to                  
 testify via teleconference from Anchorage.                                    
                                                                               
 RACE JONES, President of CanAd, a company he formulated back in               
 1990, designed the trash receptacles to enhance the beautification            
 of the city of Anchorage as well as for the benefit of other areas.           
 He stated this was for other companies to benefit from and not just           
 his.  He explained the receptacles have a 40 to 50 gallon capacity            
 and are fabricated locally.  He fabricated, installed and                     
 maintained the receptacles.  Mr. Jones said the receptacles are               
 maintained through cooperation with the business communities.  A              
 business sponsors a particular receptacle and for their sponsorship           
 they receive four 18" by 18" signs for all sides of the receptacle.           
 He explained his company or others would be responsible for                   
 maintaining the integrity of their own receptacle.  He noted it               
 cost the city of Anchorage approximately $30,000 a year to maintain           
 their litter pick-up in the downtown business district.  Once his             
 program is up to speed it would save the municipality approximately           
 $30,000 which could be allotted to other areas.  He stated over a             
 ten year period this could save the city quit a bit of money.                 
                                                                               
 MR. JONES also indicated other benefits to the state which are                
 better control of litter on the streets as well as to improve                 
 roadside areas, and possibly reducing maintenance on some of the              
 street cleaning machinery through less litter the machine has to              
 process.  He stated he intends to promote this program by placing             
 these receptacles on public right-of-ways.  Mr. Jones intended to             
 conduct a public education program through the media regarding the            
 use and importance of these receptacles.  He communicated with Mr.            
 John Horn, Regional Director for the Central Region of the DOT/PF,            
 throughout the process.  Mr. Horn also suggested the possibility of           
 an amendment from the DOT/PF for allowing the city to enact permits           
 on the particular state right-of-ways if HB 287 was enacted.                  
                                                                               
 MR. JONES suggested this program would benefit rural Alaska as far            
 as employment and stimulate more small businesses.  He stated he              
 did not intend to operate this program solely on his own.   He                
 explained that being an entrepreneur, he was interested in a                  
 percentage of the market but his interest as a Native Alaskan was             
 to benefit Alaskans and the state.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 184                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked why Mr. Jones had the word "adjacent"           
 trash receptacle added.                                                       
                                                                               
 MR. JONES explained "adjacent" trash receptacles would include                
 areas near bus shelters and benches.  He suggested amending the               
 word "adjacent" due to the fact this was somewhat restricting to              
 the purpose of these trash receptacles.  This would allow the                 
 DOT/PF to regulate the permit issuance upon the applications, so if           
 they felt that the receptacles would not hinder handicap access               
 areas and not hindering sight of vision as far as traffic, then               
 they would accept the permit so it is not restricted to bus stops             
 and bus shelters.  He noted the importance of placing these                   
 receptacles in high traffic areas.  In order for the program to be            
 effective, these trash receptacles need to be around intersections,           
 foot paths, bicycle paths and other accessible areas.                         
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the word "adjacent" was deleted,             
 would this provide a greater ability to use these receptacles on              
 state right-of-ways.                                                          
                                                                               
 MR. JONES said yes, and referred to an article where the new                  
 Commissioner of the DOT/PF stated that with the decrease in state             
 revenues, it becomes more imperative to find ways to deal with                
 private enterprises, and this would be one of those innovative                
 ways.  He reiterated his support for the removal of the word                  
 "adjacent" which would be left to the Commissioner of the DOT/PF in           
 that particular area to decide whether or not the permit would be             
 applicable.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 214                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS expressed concern for eliminating the word                     
 "adjacent" and being able to place any container alongside the road           
 and calling it a trash receptacle.  He explained there should be              
 some adjustment to the wording of "adjacent" and suggested the                
 wording "and those acceptable trash receptacles."  He stated HB 287           
 "was a relatively simple bill and has only the House Transportation           
 Committee as a referral.  If the committee keeps this in mind, it             
 would be his wish to keep that concern in mind when and if the bill           
 gets to the floor since it would be a minor amendment.                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE expressed concern for waiting until HB 287           
 is heard on the floor to amend it.                                            
                                                                               
 MR. JONES interjected that he agreed with the wording "trash                  
 receptacle."  He explained one of the reasons he wanted to                    
 elaborate on this concept was the design in itself is part of the             
 integrity.  He noted he did not want just any 55-gallon drum placed           
 along the roadsides of Alaska.  He stated "presentation is 75                 
 percent of your sale."  He agreed there has to be some sort of                
 control regarding the design and placement of the receptacles.                
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated it was his impression that HB 287 is drafted            
 specifically to accommodate the cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks.            
 There are other areas that do not have bus shelters or benches that           
 these receptacles would be required to be adjacent to, as indicated           
 in this bill.  With the removal of the word "adjacent"  and some              
 additional language, this would allow other areas of the state to             
 incorporate this project.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 267                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE expressed concern for the criteria already               
 established regarding bus benches and shelters, and the building              
 standards they are required to conform to before they are erected.            
 He asked about a similar process of standards with the application            
 of the trash receptacles.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated he shared Representative Brice's concern with           
 reference to waiting until this is heard on the floor, and he will            
 do some further research on this and possibly draft some proposed             
 amendments.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS expressed concern for the type of                
 advertisements that could be displayed on these trash receptacles             
 and the rules that govern what can and can't be advertised.                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated it was his understanding that the              
 ordinances of the prevailing municipality regarding the material              
 for public display would be in order, contrary to any other state             
 regulations or law.  Therefore, the local municipality could                  
 address their first amendment rights with respect to that specific            
 area, such as what is in practice in the municipality of Anchorage.           
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS indicated this would be a state law and the DOT/PF             
 guidelines would also apply within the state right-of-way areas               
 outside the organized municipalities.                                         
                                                                               
 MR. JONES said the restrictions on the receptacles would be under             
 the municipal codes that would effectively have control over the              
 signs.  He referenced what is currently being displayed on the bus            
 shelters and said the ordinance was not amended through the                   
 municipality of Anchorage last week in regard to the political                
 advertising on the local municipal buses, but it does state the               
 applicability of municipal enactments...they may enact ordinances             
 that regulate outdoor advertising in a way that is more restrictive           
 than the provisions of the state.   He indicated he had spoken to             
 the Mayor's office and the Public Works Department regarding this.            
 He explained the Public Works Department has the ability to pull              
 his permit from a given area if the advertising is offensive or if            
 the receptacle endangers the public in any way.  He explained it              
 would be "suicide" for his business to advertise in any way that              
 would be offensive to the public.                                             
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked for further discussion.  Then asked what the             
 will of the Committee was.                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK made a motion to move HB 287 out of              
 the House Transportation Committee with individual recommendations            
 and a zero fiscal note.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 357                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked if there was any objection.  Hearing none, HB
 287 is moved out of the committee.                                            
                                                                               
 HB 277 - PERMITS FOR DRIVING SNOWMOBILES                                     
                                                                              
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS introduced Representative Gene Kubina, prime sponsor           
 of HB 277.                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE GENE KUBINA stated HB 277 would help to clarify the            
 existing law regarding the issue of permits for snowmobiles.  He              
 noted this issue came up in Valdez where there are a number of                
 people that operate their snowmobiles on town roads.  He indicated            
 there were numerous trails for snowmobiles directly off the roads             
 and people with only a learner's permit were operating snowmobiles.           
 This was brought to the attention of the city council as to whether           
 or not this was legal.  The consensus of the meeting was that it              
 might only be legal if a person under 19 had someone 19 years of              
 age or older, with a driver's license on the snowmobile with them.            
 HB 277 was designed to clarify that people with learner permits               
 could ride on municipal streets with a municipal ordinance.                   
 Representative Kubina indicated he received a letter about an hour            
 ago from the Department of Public Safety stating the intent of HB
 277 would not be necessary, and the law already allows it.  He said           
 his intent would then be, to take this and another letter regarding           
 this issue to the Attorney General's office for confirmation of the           
 fact his intent with this bill was already covered in an existing             
 law.  If it is law, he would not want to duplicate this                       
 information.                                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked if there were any questions from the committee           
 and announced there were people on line waiting to testify from               
 Valdez and Delta Junction.  He asked for testimony from Valdez.               
                                                                               
 Number 381                                                                    
                                                                               
 MEGAN BUCK, High School Student from Valdez, stated people 19 years           
 or over should not have to accompany the younger operators of the             
 snowmobiles, who have just a permit.  She opposed Section 2,                  
 regarding the drivers education program and stated it should be a             
 snowmobile education class.                                                   
                                                                               
 BRADY STREET, High School Student from Valdez, indicated he had the           
 same concerns as Ms. Buck.  He expressed concern for the fact most            
 snowmobiles are not designed for a second person.  He stated he               
 would support a snowmobile education class.                                   
                                                                               
 RYAN MORGAN, High School Student from Valdez, questioned the                  
 relevancy of a drivers education class instead of a snowmobile                
 education class.                                                              
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated he would now take testimony from persons in             
 Delta Junction.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 407                                                                    
                                                                               
 DEAN BIALIK from Delta Junction, stated he did not see a need for             
 the requirement for a permit.  He stated there were city                      
 regulations already in place regarding the operation of snowmobiles           
 in and around cities.                                                         
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS suggested that the people on teleconference remain             
 on-line until the Division of Motor Vehicles presents information             
 regarding these issues.                                                       
                                                                               
 BERNARD GOODNO from Delta Junction opposed HB 277 on the grounds              
 the state has covered this issue enough and felt there were enough            
 regulations on this issue.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 421                                                                    
                                                                               
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief of Driver Services, Division of Motor                  
 Vehicles (DMV), Department of Public Safety, said the department              
 has viewed this issue for several years.  The DMV's definition for            
 a snowmobile fall under the definition of a motor vehicle.  Anyone            
 operating or exercising their privilege to drive in Alaska is                 
 required to have, in their possession, a valid driver's license,              
 and in this case, a valid permit.  A license under the definition             
 covered by the DMV laws includes a permit to drive.  However, this            
 does not authorize the person to operate it on state highways.  It            
 gives the municipalities the option of allowing and passing                   
 ordinances for the operation of snowmobiles on city streets.  She             
 indicated operating snowmobiles on state highways could create                
 serious problems and this was one of the things they would like to            
 have restricted.  If a municipality so chooses, the current                   
 regulations and statutes cover municipality for doing this.  The              
 issue of a "child" operating a snowmobile on streets or a highway             
 or other vehicular-way area, is also covered in regulations.  It              
 says that a parent may not permit a child to operate a snowmobile             
 on roadways.  It was her belief there has been a number of                    
 fatalities in the state as a result of snowmobile accidents, she              
 added the societal cost is astronomical dealing with off-road                 
 vehicle accidents.  She noted she did not have statistical                    
 information on the fatalities.  She felt there was sufficient law             
 and the laws do cover the operation, and they're subject to the               
 same rules of the road as anyone else, even through they are                  
 operating in a municipality.                                                  
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked for clarification on the legality of operating           
 a snowmobile within a state right-of-way if a person has a driver's           
 license or is on a permit basis, then they must be accompanied by             
 a person 19 years of age or older.                                            
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY indicated there are regulations that control where the            
 snowmobile may be operated on state highways in Alaska.  They are             
 not allowed directly on highways.  The laws are restricted enough             
 in that if a person has only an instruction permit and is under the           
 age of 16, that person is required to have a licensed driver who is           
 at least 19 years of age, and has been licensed for one year.                 
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS said it is within the roadway system as opposed to             
 the right-of-way that the laws provide for.                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY stated "vehicular-way or area is still covered under              
 the driver licensing laws in the state as far as what can be                  
 operated in those vehicular-way areas.  The right-of-way covers the           
 vehicular-way areas by definition in the law."                                
                                                                               
 Number 472                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA asked if persons requiring accompaniment on             
 a snowmobile, must have someone riding on the same machine, or can            
 they ride along side on a separate machine, as is the case with a             
 motorcycle.                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY explained if the snowmobile was intended to carry two             
 passengers, the licensed driver would be required to ride on that             
 machine.  If the machine was designed to carry only one passenger,            
 then someone would be required to ride along side on a separate               
 snowmobile.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 489                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA stated his intent was to make allowances for            
 some leniency to the existing statute.  He explained it would be              
 acceptable for the parents to ride on one snowmobile and the child            
 on another, which is what happens in most cases.  He acknowledged             
 that a person may cross a highway but not ride directly on the                
 highway.  It was his understanding that they are allowed by                   
 municipal code to operate on municipal roads.                                 
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY said this was correct.                                            
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA remarked he would like to see a change in the           
 section requiring a licensed driver be required to accompany                  
 someone who is under 19.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS said that would involve providing for the definition           
 of "accompanied."  He noted currently in statute it states a person           
 must be accompanied by someone 19 years of age or older.  He said             
 it was his understanding this implied the licensed driver must be             
 riding on the same snowmobile.                                                
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY asked Representative Kubina if he would then rather see           
 no adult supervision, if for example a 14-year-old is operating a             
 snowmobile?                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said no, not on the same snowmobile.  He                
 agreed that the wording "accompanied" could possibly imply riding             
 along side on a separate snowmobile.  He questioned whether the law           
 already allows for this.  He indicated Ms. Hensley seems to imply             
 it does not.                                                                  
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY said she would say no, if that machine was designed for           
 one person.                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA interjected and said this bill would then be            
 applicable for only a two-passenger snowmobile.                               
                                                                               
 Number 493                                                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES stated she could not compare a                 
 snowmobile to a motorcycle.  She noted snowmobiles do not contain             
 brakes.  She questioned the benefit of a person riding along side             
 someone and indicated the person on the other machine would have              
 limited control over the person not licensed to operate a                     
 snowmobile by themselves.                                                     
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated for the record that Representative James                
 arrived at 2:00 p.m.  He then commented to Ms. Hensley that most of           
 these municipalities in Alaska have state right-of-ways and state             
 highways that pass right through them.  He remarked most municipal            
 officials realize this.  However, a lot of residents are not aware            
 of the distinction between a city street and a state right-of-way.            
 He explained within Soldotna city limits it is illegal to run a               
 dirt bike, motorcycle or four wheeler within the city limits.  He             
 added this was one of the best laws regarding this issue to be                
 placed on the books.  He acknowledged that this may not be                    
 practical for areas where it could be seen as a necessity to own a            
 snowmobile or all terrain vehicle (ATV) in such places as Delta               
 Junction, where there is more open land.  To visit a neighbor a               
 person may have to travel a mile or more.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 525                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY explained on one hand we are looking at trying to get             
 laws that will train a youthful driver to develop good driving                
 skills that they may use throughout their life.  This was the                 
 purpose of having a three-stage licensing system.  She expressed              
 concern for the allowance of operating a snowmobile along side                
 other vehicular traffic.                                                      
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS said there was one more person to testify via                  
 teleconference from Tok.                                                      
                                                                               
 JERRY JERNIGAN, Owner of Tok Recreational Vehicle Village; and                
 Member, Tok Chamber of Commerce, felt that HB 277 will probably not           
 stand due to lack of requirement.  He hopes that the committee will           
 be involved in future regulations regarding this issue.  He opposed           
 being regulated too strongly.  He stated his intentions will be to            
 contact the Alaska State Snow Machine Association and recommend               
 they have extensive input regarding this issue.  He stated he was             
 not sure if the association was aware of this particular bill.  He            
 believed the use of a snowmobile was a way of life for some                   
 Alaskans, particularly in rural areas.  He said he was not aware of           
 existing laws restricting the areas in which snowmobiles could be             
 used.  He stated what he was hearing from today's testimonies was             
 that it is illegal, however, we may not want to enforce this issue            
 in the rural communities, but it will be enforced in the                      
 municipalities and the more concentrated population areas of the              
 state.  He said he had a problem with this inconsistency of a law.            
                                                                               
 Number 552                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS remarked one thing we learn in Juneau quickly is we            
 do not assume anything.  HB 277 is probably not dead and                      
 Representative Kubina has heard all testimony and will draft an               
 amended version of this bill and bring it back to the House                   
 Transportation Committee at a later date.                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HENSLEY indicated that several years ago there was a superior             
 court decision on a snowmobile and drunk driving issue in the city            
 of St. Mary's.  In that area, the individual filed an appeal with             
 the superior court stating that they could not take any action                
 against him for drunk driving because he was operating a                      
 snowmobile.  The city of St. Mary's then said they require by                 
 ordinance that all individuals operating a snowmobile on the city             
 streets of St. Mary's must have a valid driver's license.  The                
 court upheld that decision, stating that because the city had that            
 ordinance, they upheld that decision that he was drunk driving.               
 She said if the city of Valdez chooses to allow the operation of              
 snowmobile on their city streets, then, they can by ordinance,                
 adopt that they meet Title 28 licensing laws.  She indicated the              
 department does have sufficient laws on the books that will allow             
 them to do that.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES stated she did not realize that it was illegal           
 for young people to be riding snowmobile along roadways.  She                 
 agreed with Mr. Jernigan's comment on the fact we should not have             
 laws that we can turn our heads at.  If we are going to look the              
 other way, then there should be a provision in the law that would             
 allow for this.  She stated in the city of North Pole where she               
 lives, people freely use snowmobile on all the roads.  She said she           
 was unaware of this being illegal and expressed concern for this              
 issue.                                                                        
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KUBINA said the city of Valdez has allowed this                
 practice to go on for years.  He explained most people are                    
 traveling from their homes to the snowmobile areas which are                  
 scattered around the town.  The city council felt uncomfortable               
 when they were talking about winter tourism and how they would                
 regulate snowmobile usage.  The city attorney said it appears we              
 may be in violation of the law with the operation of snowmobiles.             
 The city did not want to be in violation of the law, but the police           
 chief said he was not familiar with the procedures for the                    
 regulating of snowmobile usage; however, now that it is brought to            
 his attention, it places him in an uncomfortable situation.  He               
 concluded this was the reason this bill was before the committee,             
 so as not to purposely break the law, but to make an attempt at               
 giving some flexibility to the municipalities for carrying this out           
 so it is done in a safe and legal manner.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 585                                                                    
                                                                               
 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked if there were any questions and thanked                  
 Representative Kubina.  He announced that Representative Kubina               
 would present the House Transportation Committee with a revised               
 version of HB 277.                                                            
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to come before the House                      
 Transportation Committee.  Chairman Davis adjourned the meeting at            
 2:25 p.m.                                                                     
                                                                               
                                                                               

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