Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/06/2017 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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01:07:04 PM Start
01:07:50 PM HB204
01:58:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 204 OVERTAKING/PASSING DOT VEHICLES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 204 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 6, 2017                                                                                          
                           1:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Louise Stutes, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Adam Wool, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Eastman (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux (alternate)                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 204                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to overtaking and passing certain stationary                                                                   
vehicles."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 204 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 204                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: OVERTAKING/PASSING DOT VEHICLES                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) KAWASAKI                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/29/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/29/17       (H)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
04/06/17       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 204 as prime sponsor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DAN CARSON, Equipment Operator                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  204,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE COFFEY, Director                                                                                                           
South Coast Region                                                                                                              
Statewide Maintenance and Statewide Operation Director                                                                          
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOTPF)                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  204,  offered                                                             
testimony and answered questions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TOM BRICE, Business Representative                                                                                              
Public Employees Local 71                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  204,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Representative                                                                                                   
American  Federation   of  Labor   and  Congress   of  Industrial                                                               
Organizations (AFL-CIO)                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  of HB  204,  offered                                                             
support for the legislation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN LOWDEN, Captain                                                                                                             
Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                               
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the hearing  of  HB 204,  answered                                                             
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MERCEDES COLBERT, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  the hearing of  HB 204,  answered a                                                             
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:07:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LOUISE  STUTES called the House  Transportation Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 1:07  p.m. Representatives Stutes,                                                               
Kopp, Claman, Sullivan-Leonard, Wool,  and Neuman were present at                                                               
the  call  to order.    Representative  Drummond arrived  as  the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
             HB 204-OVERTAKING/PASSING DOT VEHICLES                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:07:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  204,  "An  Act  relating to  overtaking  and                                                               
passing certain stationary vehicles."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:08:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT KAWASAKI,  Alaska State Legislature, pointed                                                               
out that  this is  National Work Zone  Awareness week  within the                                                               
United States.   He  advised that  currently under  AS 28.35.185,                                                               
drivers are  required to "vacate  the nearest lane or  slow down"                                                               
when approaching  certain emergency  and service  vehicles, which                                                               
includes  emergency,   fire,  law  enforcement,   animal  control                                                               
vehicles, and tow  trucks.  This bill would  specifically add the                                                               
Department   of  Transportation   &  Public   Facilities  (DOTPF)                                                               
vehicles with flashing yellow lights  that perform maintenance or                                                               
roadwork  during its  course  of duty.   In  the  event a  driver                                                               
approached one  of these  flashing lights  vehicles on  a roadway                                                               
with  two or  more lanes,  traveling in  the same  direction, the                                                               
driver should "vacate those lanes  closest to the vehicle or slow                                                               
down to a reasonable speed."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:10:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI explained  that under  the current  2005                                                               
statute, if personal  injury results due to  the person's failure                                                               
to vacate  the lane or  slowdown, it is  punishable as a  class A                                                               
misdemeanor;  if the  failure to  move  over does  not result  in                                                               
personal injury, it is punishable  by $150 traffic infraction and                                                               
two points  assessed against the  driver's license.  He  read the                                                               
list  of  violators  caught  by the  Alaska  State  Troopers  and                                                               
charged under of AS 28.35.185 as follows:   2014 - 53; 2015 - 14;                                                               
and  2016 -  23  and noted  that  it will  take  time to  receive                                                               
information  from other  major municipalities  that also  enforce                                                               
this  particular statute.   This  bill  is next  referred to  the                                                               
House  Judiciary  Standing Committee  and  the  specifics of  the                                                               
infractions  and citations  will  be  addressed.   Representative                                                               
Kawasaki  then   listed  various  Department   of  Transportation                                                               
employees who were  injured or killed while  performing their job                                                               
duties in other states and noted  that this bill will bring about                                                               
a safer  work place.  He  stated that omitting DOTPF  workers was                                                               
an  oversight when  the 2005  legislation was  passed and  adding                                                               
DOTPF would  further clarify  the law and  add public  safety for                                                               
the DOTPF workers.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:14:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KOPP   offered  surprise   that   Representative                                                               
Kawasaki's sponsor  statement and  testimony did  not prominently                                                               
feature Robert  Hamel, a  long time Alaska  DOTPF worker  who was                                                               
killed instantly on  November 24, 2012, at mile 88  of the Seward                                                               
Highway.  He  said he would like to see  Robert Hamel included in                                                               
the  sponsor  statement after  the  bill  leaves this  committee.                                                               
Safety is  an issue, he  said, and  he has seen  near-misses many                                                               
times with DOTPF  workers who frequently work  traffic control at                                                               
bad scenes.  He  related that he likes that the  law is not being                                                               
changed and is merely adding this class of DOTPF vehicle.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said  he supports  this bill,  noting that                                                               
the statute  describes emergency, police, and  fire vehicles, and                                                               
it does  not indicate  a governmental agency,  and asked  why the                                                               
legislation  was   not  written   to  cover   municipal  vehicles                                                               
performing the  same function.   He opined that  this legislation                                                               
should  not be  limited to  state DOTPF  vehicles, but  rather to                                                               
include any  vehicle performing  that same  function in  the same                                                               
manner  as  this  language   covers  emergency  vehicles  without                                                               
specifying  the agency.   He  offered that  an emergency  vehicle                                                               
could include ambulances operated  by private contractors, and in                                                               
this  instance,  DOTPF narrows  the  language  too much  for  the                                                               
appropriate scope, he offered.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI responded  that his  office looked  into                                                               
that  issue and  sought  to  clarify whether  the  pool could  be                                                               
enlarged to  include all privately  or publically  owned vehicles                                                               
that have some  sort of capacity and  a reason to be  on a right-                                                               
of-way at a yield.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:17:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN referred  to HB  201, page  1, lines  8-9,                                                               
which read as follows:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
       (a) ... when the stationary vehicle is displaying                                                                        
     flashing emergency lights on a highway or roadway                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked the legislative intent  of lines 8-9                                                               
when  discussing the  lights on  the highway  or roadway  because                                                               
there  is  the roadway  itself  where  vehicles travel,  and  the                                                               
shoulder where  a driver could pull  over for a flat  tire.  Many                                                               
times, he  commented, there are  DOTPF vehicles further  off into                                                               
the  ditch,  such  as  engineers.     He  asked  whether  it  was                                                               
Representative  Kawasaki's  intent  that   the  language  is  the                                                               
shoulder next to the right-of-way and not down into the ditch.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  answered that it  takes a bit  of common                                                               
sense,  generally.     He  explained  that  the   intent  of  the                                                               
legislation is  specifically to the  folks "right on the  side of                                                               
the road," and not necessarily in  the ditch, but most folks will                                                               
yield and slow down the moment they see a flashing light.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:19:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  agreed that  it was  common sense,  and he                                                               
related that  in purposes such as  this bill, it is  nice to have                                                               
the legislator's  exact legislative  intent.  He  further related                                                               
that if  someone challenged this  new law  and it became  a court                                                               
case, the legislative intent should be on record.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  offered that  when a  vehicle is  on the                                                               
road performing work, such as  laying down cones or supervising a                                                               
site, they  become a  specific hazard and  this law  would apply.                                                               
This law probably  would not apply if the person  was further off                                                               
outside of  the roadway or  right-of-way or within the  ditch, he                                                               
explained.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN commented  that it  would be  where people                                                               
normally do not drive.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI answered exactly.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:20:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  remarked that she does  not like                                                               
to  legislate something  that  should be  common  sense, such  as                                                               
yellow  cones set  up and  flashing lights.   She  asked for  the                                                               
numbers showing that this legislation is necessary.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAWASAKI  answered   that   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation   &  Public   Facilities   (DOTPF)  will   present                                                               
statistics as  to how its  work safety zones have  performed over                                                               
the last 12 years.  Work  safety zones and specifically, the ones                                                               
that say  you have to  drive a certain  speed limit or  receive a                                                               
triple  fine, have  worked to  curb speeders  and have  worked to                                                               
enforce the idea  that people are working, and  drivers should be                                                               
extra  vigilant, he  remarked.    He noted  that  before a  DOTPF                                                               
worker is able to work in a  work safety zone with a large orange                                                               
sign,  they  are required  to  set  cones establishing  the  lane                                                               
markers,  and with  their  yellow lights  they  would be  outside                                                               
performing  those  duties.   This  legislation  will ensure  that                                                               
folks take extra precautions as  those safety corridors are being                                                               
established, he stated.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked what entity  would enforce                                                               
this law.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI advised  that the  Department of  Public                                                               
Safety  (DPS) currently  enforces this  particular law,  and with                                                               
municipalities it  would be the local  municipal law enforcement.                                                               
There  were 23  citations in  the last  year of  workplace safety                                                               
zone violations, he said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:23:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN noted a private  contractor in Big Lake who                                                               
works  on many  road construction  jobs, its  workers put  up the                                                               
barriers and  many times those workers  are out in the  middle of                                                               
the  highway   trying  to   set  the  cones.     He   asked  that                                                               
Representative  Kawasaki consider  adding  those  folks into  the                                                               
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAWASAKI replied  that similar  to Representative                                                               
Claman,  tow  trucks  are  covered  under  current  law  and  are                                                               
probably 90  percent private companies,  and when on the  side of                                                               
the  road  trying  to maintain  traffic  within  that  particular                                                               
corridor  they are  in  jeopardy.   Animal  control officers  are                                                               
typically  municipal   officers.    He  reiterated   that  he  is                                                               
considering including contracted employees  that also perform the                                                               
same duties,  and he would  be happy to work  with Representative                                                               
Newman.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES opened invited testimony on HB 204.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:25:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  CARSON,  Equipment  Operator,   advised  he  works  for  the                                                               
Department of  Transportation & Public  Facilities (DOTPF)  as an                                                               
equipment office.   [Co-Chair Stutes previously  advised that Mr.                                                               
Carson was testifying  today solely on his own behalf.]   He said                                                               
it is  his job  to be  on the  roadway every  day and  that DOTPF                                                               
workers are in  "the public's line of fire"  when motorists drive                                                               
down the  road.  There are  "a few courteous driver's  out there"                                                               
who do  slow down and  give the workers  space to do  their jobs;                                                               
however, he advised, a majority  of the traveling public does not                                                               
slow down  and does not  give the workers  much room to  do their                                                               
job.  The  DOTPF equipment travels at a slower  pace than traffic                                                               
and they  must slow  down to perform  whatever the  job requires.                                                               
During  the winter,  they  put out  flares  when performing  snow                                                               
removal, such  as cleaning an  intersection, to alert  traffic of                                                               
the activity.   Many  times those  flares are  routinely ignored,                                                               
and people  drive over  the flares and  put them  out eliminating                                                               
the warning  for the other  drivers following behind.   There are                                                               
times  where the  ice has  frozen down  a little  harder in  some                                                               
spots more so  than in others, and when his  grader hits a frozen                                                               
spot  it moves  the machine  and  slides it  over 5-6  feet in  a                                                               
heartbeat, he  explained.  Generally, he  said, DOTPF's equipment                                                               
is bigger  than everyone  else on  the road,  and in  an accident                                                               
DOTPF  will win.   He  related that  he does  not want  someone's                                                               
injury to  be on his  conscience if there  is a way  to eliminate                                                               
that fear by  having traffic slow down and move  over so everyone                                                               
remains safe.   The most  dangerous places are the  higher speed,                                                               
higher  volume roads  with two  or  more lanes  traveling in  one                                                               
direction  wherein traffic  usually has  room to  move over,  but                                                               
many times drivers do not and  drive right next to the workers in                                                               
the  same lane,  he remarked.    The goal  is to  make the  roads                                                               
better  and safer  for everyone  and adding  DOTPF, and  possibly                                                               
contractors, to that  "Move Over" law is  a simple cost-effective                                                               
way to make work zone safer for everyone, he stated.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:29:36 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,                                                               
approximately  20 years  of that  time  involved maintenance  and                                                               
operations in all three regions  across the state, he then listed                                                               
various  positions   he  has  held   within  the   Department  of                                                               
Transportation &  Public Facilities (DOTPF), and  commented he is                                                               
a "maintenance guy."  He  highlighted that every day Alaska DOTPF                                                               
maintenance and  operations personnel  serve in harm's  way while                                                               
working on  state highways.   Throughout the state,  people often                                                               
ignore traffic work  zones and snow plows and graders  are hit by                                                               
vehicles,  yet  the DOTPF  vehicles  are  well-lit with  flashing                                                               
yellow and blue strobes and  with all of the typical construction                                                               
signing,  barricades, flaggers,  cones.   Drivers are  distracted                                                               
and  run through  DOTPF's  work  zones, people  do  not obey  the                                                               
orders of  flaggers causing flaggers  to take evasive  actions to                                                               
get out of the  way of errant vehicles, he said.   The snow plows                                                               
put up quite the cloud of snow wherein it is basically a white-                                                                 
out, he described,  and yet vehicles pass snow plows  on both the                                                               
right and  left side while  performing DOTPF duties.   Mr. Coffey                                                               
thanked  Representative Kopp  for mentioning  "Rob" because  [his                                                               
death]  was  the  ultimate   sacrifice  while  performing  public                                                               
service."   He described Rob Hamel  as a "great guy,  great asset                                                               
to  the department,  and that  should never  happen again."   Mr.                                                               
Hamel's death  "devastated many of  us in the department,  and it                                                               
was a terrible  terrible time."  He pointed  out that nationally,                                                               
maintenance workers have  one of the most dangerous  jobs, and in                                                               
many states  more highway maintenance  workers are killed  in the                                                               
line  of duty  than the  police and  firemen.   He reported  that                                                               
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.  Unfortunately, nationally  and in Alaska, fatalities                                                               
have been  up over the  last couple of  years and he  opined that                                                               
distracted driving  is a cause  of the  rise in fatalities.   The                                                               
Alaska Department of Transportation  & Public Facilities supports                                                               
CSHB 204, he stated.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  referred to  Mr. Coffey's  testimony of  the slow-                                                               
moving snow plows  and pointed out that that is  not reflected in                                                               
this legislation, this  legislation has to do  with vehicles that                                                               
are pulled off to the side of the road.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COFFEY agreed,  and he  explained  that he  brought up  snow                                                               
plows in general to illustrate  that anytime DOTPF workers are on                                                               
the highway, they are in harm's way.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:34:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL clarified  that this legislation is  not "passing a                                                               
grader or  something like  that."  He  commented that  in reading                                                               
these other states' laws, they  all seem to almost have identical                                                               
language, and he read a  New Jersey statute as follows: "Vehicles                                                               
approaching  a stationary  or authorized  emergency vehicle,  tow                                                               
truck,  highway maintenance  emergency service  vehicle traveling                                                               
in the same  direction."  Most states  mentioned emergency lights                                                               
and  New Jersey  does not,  "Must move  over to  another lane  if                                                               
possible or slow down," he read.   It appears to be "common sense                                                               
type stuff"  and Alaska  does not  include the  language "highway                                                               
maintenance," it  just has emergency  or tow  truck.  He  said he                                                               
assumes  most of  these vehicles  have  lights so  that makes  it                                                               
easy.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. COFFEY interjected that the lights are required.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN noted that  the legislation adds the words:                                                               
"the  vehicle  operated by  the  Department  of Transportation  &                                                               
Public  Facilities," but  Mr. Coffey  had discussed  flaggers and                                                               
such.    He  asked  Mr.  Coffey whether  he  had  any  particular                                                               
language or verbiage to recommend.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  COFFEY  responded,  to  have   the  broadest  language  that                                                               
includes engineers, survey crews, and  such, not limited to state                                                               
employees  because many  municipal  employees  are alongside  the                                                               
roadway.   He  stressed that  for anyone  working in  the highway                                                               
environment  there is  risk, therefore,  the department  would be                                                               
supportive of being as broad as possible.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   NEUMAN   suggested    Mr.   Coffey   work   with                                                               
Representative Kawasaki.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM BRICE,  Business Representative,  Alaska District  Council of                                                               
Laborers,  Public   Employees  Local  71,  advised   that  Public                                                               
Employees Local  71 represents  the blue-collar  state employees,                                                               
and he is  also involved with private  construction labor unions.                                                               
He  related  that  Mr.  Hamel's  death shook  the  union  to  its                                                               
foundation  as  many people  had  great  respect for  Mr.  Hamel.                                                               
Public Employee's Local 71 supports  HB 204, and would appreciate                                                               
expanding  it  to  include municipal  employees  performing  road                                                               
maintenance  work because  language providing  a level  of safety                                                               
for all of  the folks working in the roadway  is appreciated.  He                                                               
mentioned that there are statutes  providing double traffic fines                                                               
for people  caught speeding  in those traffic  zones, and  HB 204                                                               
would address issues  where there may be a  cherry picker working                                                               
on  a  stop  lights,  or  engineer  technicians  performing  road                                                               
inspection.   He  commented that  not only  are vehicles  running                                                               
into large  DOTPF equipment damaging,  but it is  challenging for                                                               
the   operator   emotionally   and  physically.      Having   the                                                               
conversation  about  what  is  going   on  Alaska's  roadways  is                                                               
important, and Local  71 encourages the bill to  move forward, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES noted  that Mr. Brice is a former  member of this                                                               
body.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON ETHERIDGE, Representative, American  Federation of Labor, and                                                               
Congress of Industrial Organizations  (AFL-CIO), advised that the                                                               
AFL-CIO is fully supportive of  this legislation and advised that                                                               
the  double traffic  fines in  construction areas  is a  piece he                                                               
helped  get through  the legislature  years  ago, and  it made  a                                                               
difference in  slowing people  down as  they drive  through those                                                               
areas.  He said  he has seen "these crazy guys  go out there" and                                                               
see how  many cones they  could "accidentally" knock  over, which                                                               
is  the type  of  activity  that "they  should  be  able to  give                                                               
tickets."  Previously, he offered,  there was an accident where a                                                               
flagger was driving a vehicle  with flashing lights following the                                                               
workers performing work  on the side of the road  and "some lady"                                                               
hit the  back of  that pickup  driving 55 mph.   The  flagger was                                                               
stopped with  a great  big flashing arrow  light on  the vehicle,                                                               
and  the accident  put the  flagger in  the hospital  for a  long                                                               
period of  time.  He  suggested that the  members stop at  one of                                                               
the work safety  zones to experience what it's like  when "one of                                                               
them cars goes whizzing by you doing 50 - 60 mph.  It's spooky."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:46:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD related  that the  hard part  of                                                               
these situations is the fact that  there cannot be a local police                                                               
officer or state trooper at every  site.  She asked what DPS will                                                               
do to assist in this endeavor.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:46:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  LOWDEN,   Captain,  Division   of  Alaska   State  Troopers,                                                               
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS),  advised  that  the  state                                                               
troopers  will  do   what  it  does  with   every  other  traffic                                                               
violation, it  will take the appropriate  enforcement action when                                                               
witnessing  these   violations,  and/or  if  people   report  the                                                               
violations and  offer enough information the  state troopers will                                                               
follow-up.    Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  was  correct,  he                                                               
advised,  there is  not the  personnel to  follow along  behind a                                                               
crew to keep an eye on the situation.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD  asked  how  this  new  language                                                               
would help the DPS.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  LAWDEN responded  that the  statute adds  this class  of                                                               
vehicles in  this situation,  so an  enforcement action  could be                                                               
taken.   Currently, people are not  required to move over  in the                                                               
lane, or if that  is not possible to slow down, he  said.  In the                                                               
event  a DOTPF  vehicle is  along  the roadway  working with  its                                                               
lights on  and someone barrels  past them,  or even drives  by at                                                               
the speed  limit and does  not move over,  there is not  much the                                                               
state troopers can do, he said.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:48:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  noted that this  would be new law  and asked                                                               
whether  Captain  Lawden  would  work  with  DOTPF  on  a  public                                                               
informational brochure such  as, "Move Over - It's  The Law" type                                                               
of brochure.   He suggested there  may be a way  the public media                                                               
unit could work with DOTPF to  offer the information to new folks                                                               
receiving their  driver's licenses  or permit,  such as  a public                                                               
media campaign.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN LAWDEN  advised that "We already  have a PSA that  it has                                                               
been aired quite a bit," at  least in South Central Alaska, about                                                               
the "Move Over" law.  He said  he could see the PSA being updated                                                               
if this  bill becomes law and  adding this class of  vehicles, or                                                               
any other  class discussed today.   The  DPS would at  least play                                                               
the PSA already recorded, he said.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:49:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL said  that quite honestly, he did not  know that by                                                               
law, he was required to change lanes  if it is safe to do so, and                                                               
suggested that  possibly a  PSA campaign  is not  a bad  idea for                                                               
those  who obtained  their driver's  licenses  in the  past.   In                                                               
reading these statutes from other  states, such as Massachusetts,                                                               
he  noted,  it seems  to  put  it  in  common sense  language  as                                                               
follows: "Drivers traveling in the  same direction or approaching                                                               
a stationary  emergency vehicle, highway maintenance  vehicle, or                                                               
tow or recovered  vehicle with flashing lights."   He pointed out                                                               
that it covers  highway maintenance at the state  or local level,                                                               
and  a  city  vehicle  with  flashing  lights  would  be  equally                                                               
respected.  In  the State of Massachusetts, when  he lived there,                                                               
he  said,  it  was by  law  required  that  a  police car  be  at                                                               
construction sites,  "all of  them.  And  boy, that  really makes                                                               
you slow down."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:51:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES  opened public testimony.   After ascertaining no                                                               
one wished to testify, closed public testimony on HB 204.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:51:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  offered that David Morris  was his next-door                                                               
neighbor in  Kenai, and that he  worked with DOTPF in  Alaska and                                                               
then moved to  Colorado DOT and was killed his  first year on the                                                               
job in a construction zone when  a logging truck plowed into him.                                                               
Mr. Morris was stopped at an  accident scene in a dump truck, but                                                               
it killed him  instantly.  Maintenance workers do  work in harm's                                                               
way and this is a  common-sense bill, he described, and sometimes                                                               
common  sense is  legislated because  "common sense  is a  flower                                                               
that does not grow in every garden."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES  related that there  have been good  comments and                                                               
ideas given to  the sponsor of this bill, and  given this bill is                                                               
next  referred to  the House  Judiciary  Standing Committee,  she                                                               
would like to move it out of committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  asked  whether vehicles,  not  necessarily  state                                                               
DOTPF vehicles,  but possibly a  local municipality  vehicle with                                                               
flashing  lights would  be covered  under this  bill, or  whether                                                               
there  was   possible  language  to  include   other  maintenance                                                               
vehicles that were not necessarily state vehicles.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES advised that that  was what Representative Newman                                                               
referred  in his  "amendment  to this  bill,"  covering all  road                                                               
maintenance vehicles.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN agreed, and he  said there was an agreement                                                               
with  Representative Kawasaki  that he  would follow  up on  that                                                               
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:54:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  whether  there was  a problem  with                                                               
expanding   the  legislation   during  the   time  Representative                                                               
Kawasaki's  office  spoke  with Legislative  Legal  and  Research                                                               
Services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MERCEDES  COLBERT, Staff,  Representative Scott  Kawasaki, Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  responded  that  the  staffer  working  with                                                               
Legislative Legal and Research Services  drafting the bill is ill                                                               
today  and she  would prefer  to  speak with  the staffer  before                                                               
answering.  She advised that  she researched the Anchorage Police                                                               
Department  online and  it directly  references this  statute and                                                               
follows the  statute for its  own practices, but she  was unclear                                                               
whether  other  municipalities  follow  the "Move  Over"  law  as                                                               
written, or  whether they have their  own ordinances individually                                                               
by municipality.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:55:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   WOOL  expressed   concern  about   other  jurisdiction                                                               
vehicles and assumed  a state law would apply to  a road within a                                                               
city  that is  in the  same state.   In  the event  there was  an                                                               
Alaska  state  law about  "Move  Over"  it  would apply  even  in                                                               
municipalities,   he  said.      Again,   he  reiterated,   local                                                               
maintenance  vehicles and  flaggers  and people  standing in  the                                                               
road  "which  my  understanding  with  that  would  be  something                                                               
different, this is emergency vehicles  with lights under state or                                                               
possibly local municipality."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:56:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  affirmed to Co-Chair  Wool that Title  28 is                                                               
controlling  for  all  motor  vehicle   law  enforcement  in  any                                                               
municipality  in Alaska.    Therefore,  local police  departments                                                               
enforce state law.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:56:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  offered  her assumption  that  it  also                                                               
applies to boroughs as well as municipalities.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP answered that boroughs are municipalities.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said she  agrees with her colleagues that                                                               
it  is hard  to legislate  common sense.   Although,  she pointed                                                               
out, in  this case it behooves  the committee to add  this set of                                                               
vehicles  to  the law  and  find  a way  to  be  as inclusive  as                                                               
possible for all  of those with pieces of  equipment operating in                                                               
harm's way.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:57:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL moved  to  report  HB 204  out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There  being   no  objection,  HB   204  moved  from   the  House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:58:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:58                                                                 
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB204 ver A 4.4.17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document-Fines 4.6.17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document- DoT Work Zone Safety Week PR 4.4.17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document- Delaware Move Over Law Informational.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Supporting Document- AAA State Move Over Laws.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Sponsor Statement 4.6.17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Sectional Analysis ver A 4.4.17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204
HB204 Fiscal Note- HB204-DPS-AST-03-31-17.pdf HTRA 4/6/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 204