Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

04/03/2018 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
*+ SB 199 DALTON HWY: ACCESS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 259 CONFINING VEHICLE LOADS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         April 3, 2018                                                                                          
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator David Wilson                                                                                                            
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Anna MacKinnon                                                                                                          
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 199                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to the use of off-road vehicles within the                                                                     
James Dalton Highway corridor."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 259(JUD) AM                                                                             
"An Act relating to containing or confining loads being                                                                         
transported on highways."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 199                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DALTON HWY: ACCESS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) KELLY BY REQUEST                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/19/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/18       (S)       TRA                                                                                                    
03/29/18       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/29/18       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/03/18       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 259                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONFINING VEHICLE LOADS                                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) STUTES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
01/08/18       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/18                                                                                
01/16/18       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/16/18       (H)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
01/25/18       (H)       TRA AT 1:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
01/25/18       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
01/30/18       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
01/30/18       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
02/01/18       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/01/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/01/18       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
02/08/18       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
02/08/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 259(TRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/08/18       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
02/09/18       (H)       TRA RPT CS(TRA) 1DP 5AM                                                                                
02/09/18       (H)       DP: STUTES                                                                                             
02/09/18       (H)       AM: KOPP, CLAMAN, DRUMMOND, EASTMAN,                                                                   
                         WOOL                                                                                                   
02/21/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/21/18       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
02/23/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
02/23/18       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/05/18       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/05/18       (H)       Moved CSHB 259(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/05/18       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/07/18       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 5DP 1NR 1AM                                                                            
03/07/18       (H)       DP:   KOPP,    KREISS-TOMKINS,   STUTES,                                                               
                         LEDOUX, CLAMAN                                                                                         
03/07/18       (H)       NR: REINBOLD                                                                                           
03/07/18       (H)       AM: EASTMAN                                                                                            
03/15/18       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/15/18       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 259(JUD) AM                                                                              
03/16/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/16/18       (S)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
03/29/18       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/29/18       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
04/03/18       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH BYRNES, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator Kelly                                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of SB 199.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REBEKAH VANDERLUGT, representing self                                                                                           
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 199.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROD ARNO, Executive Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Outdoor Council                                                                                                          
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 199.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LOUISE STUTES                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 259.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MATT GRUENING, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Stutes                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided an overview of HB 259 and answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
KELLY ROY, representing self                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 259.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ROBIN ABEL, representing self                                                                                                   
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 259.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
AVES THOMPSON, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Trucking Association                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in opposition of HB 259.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAN LOWDEN, Captain                                                                                                             
Alaska State Troopers                                                                                                           
Alaska Department of Public Safety                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 259.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKE LESMANN, Legislative Liaison                                                                                               
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Offered to provide follow-up information                                                                  
regarding HB 259.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BERT STEDMAN called the Senate Transportation Standing                                                                  
Committee meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. Present at the call to                                                                  
order were Senators Wilson, Egan, and Chair Stedman.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
         SB 199-DALTON HWY: ACCESS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced the consideration of SB 199, an act                                                                     
related to the use of off-road vehicles within the James Dalton                                                                 
Highway corridor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSEPH BYRNES, Staff, Senator Kelly, Alaska State Legislature,                                                                  
Juneau, Alaska, provided an overview of SB 199 as follows:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Senate Bill  199 would  allow for  the use  of off-road                                                                    
     vehicles within  the James  Dalton Highway  corridor to                                                                    
     access private  property within an  established history                                                                    
     of use as a homestead.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Under   AS  19.40.210,   off-road   vehicles  are   not                                                                    
     permitted  on land  within five  miles  of the  highway                                                                    
     right-of-way  except under  select circumstances.  One,                                                                    
     if  necessary,   for  oil   and  gas   exploration  and                                                                    
     development or  transportation; two, to gain  access to                                                                    
     a mining claim  in the vicinity of  the highway; three,                                                                    
     to travel across the corridor  from a point outside the                                                                    
     corridor to  another point outside the  corridor with a                                                                    
     snow-machine. Unfortunately,  this leaves  no exception                                                                    
     for  individuals and  their  families  who own  private                                                                    
     homesteaded land  adjacent to the corridor  who wish to                                                                    
     use an off-road vehicle to access their property.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This  issue  came  to our  office's  attention  from  a                                                                    
     constituent  who  owns   homesteaded  property  in  the                                                                    
     Brooks Range  that is virtually inaccessible  in winter                                                                    
     months without an airplane,  under current law. Article                                                                    
     8, Section 1 of the  Alaska Constitution states, "It is                                                                    
     the policy of the state  to encourage the settlement of                                                                    
     its  land  and  the  development of  its  resources  by                                                                    
     making them  available for  the maximum  use consistent                                                                    
     with the public interest;" this  section was one of the                                                                    
     reasons the  Legislature found  there was  an immediate                                                                    
     need for a  public highway from the Yukon  River to the                                                                    
     Arctic Ocean in the first place.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Homesteading has  a rich history in  Alaska, going back                                                                    
     to  the  extension of  the  original  Homestead Act  to                                                                    
     include Alaska  by President William McKinley  in 1898.                                                                    
     By the time the last  homestead claims were made in the                                                                    
     1980s, around 3,500 people had  received land in Alaska                                                                    
     according   to  BLM,   [Bureau  of   Land  Management].                                                                    
     Homesteaders  represent  the  very  embodiment  of  the                                                                    
     state's desire to settle Alaska;  however, for a myriad                                                                    
     of  reasons access  has long  plagued residents  of our                                                                    
     state.  The  prohibition  on  off-road  vehicles  is  a                                                                    
     holdover from a  time when there was  concern about the                                                                    
     lack  of  sufficient  public  facilities  and  services                                                                    
     available  on the  Dalton  Highway.  Today, the  Dalton                                                                    
     Highway includes amenities familiar  to any traveler on                                                                    
     Alaska's   highways:    restaurants,   fuel   stations,                                                                    
     lodging, campgrounds, water  fill-up and dump stations,                                                                    
     and  rest areas;  it is  long time  that some  of these                                                                    
     restrictions  on  the  use of  the  Dalton  Highway  be                                                                    
     reevaluated.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     At the  very least this reevaluation  should begin with                                                                    
     this  bill,  SB  199.  This  proposes  a  very  limited                                                                    
     exception, only  for persons wishing to  access private                                                                    
     property  that was  historically used  as a  homestead.                                                                    
     The Department  of Natural  Resources has  only located                                                                    
     16  federally patented  homesteads within  10 miles  of                                                                    
     the  Dalton  Highway.  Furthermore, SB  199  would  not                                                                    
     abandon Board of  Game restrictions on the  use of off-                                                                    
     road  vehicles  for hunting  purposes  in  the area  or                                                                    
     restrictions  on   the  use  of  firearms   within  the                                                                    
     corridor for hunting.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     SB 199  is a bill  of very  narrow scope that  is about                                                                    
     giving  homestead  property  holders  the  same  access                                                                    
     rights as  those with mining  claims and  those seeking                                                                    
     oil and gas development.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:37:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:37:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REBEKAH   VANDERLUGT,  representing   self,  Fairbanks,   Alaska,                                                               
testified  in support  of SB  199. She  disclosed that  she is  a                                                               
private  landowner   who  owns   property  through   the  Federal                                                               
Homestead Act. She said she  supports the bill because her family                                                               
has a  right for equal access  to their property. She  noted that                                                               
her  property is  virtually inaccessible  in the  winter and  her                                                               
family would like to access via snow-machines.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN  asked  Ms.  Vanderlugt  for  the  number  of  her                                                               
property's homestead.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. VANDERLAUGT replied that she did not recall.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:39:26 PM                                                                                                                    
ROD  ARNO, Executive  Director, Alaska  Outdoor Council,  Palmer,                                                               
Alaska, testified  in support of  SB 199.  He said the  bill will                                                               
provide  more  public  access  to public  resources  as  well  as                                                               
private lands.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BYRNES noted  that Ms. Vanderlaugt and  her husband initially                                                               
brought the issue to the  attention of Senator Kelly's office. He                                                               
detailed to  committee members the  history of  the Vanderlaugt's                                                               
homestead site.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN held SB 199 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                 HB 259-CONFINING VEHICLE LOADS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:41:33 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEDMAN announced  the  consideration of  HB  259, an  act                                                               
relating to  containing and confining loads  being transported on                                                               
highways.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:41:52 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LOUISE  STUTES, Alaska State  Legislature, Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor of HB 259, stated the following:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     I brought  this bill  forward on  behalf of  an Alaskan                                                                    
     who  was  grievously injured  as  a  result of  someone                                                                    
     failing  to  properly  secure   their  cargo  in  their                                                                    
     vehicle.  This  bill addresses  a  serious  gap in  our                                                                    
     confined-load statute which will  protect the safety of                                                                    
     Alaskan drivers and pedestrians.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     In  Alaska, even  if  you are  seriously  injured as  a                                                                    
     result of someone's negligence  in securing their load,                                                                    
     the  current confined-load  statute only  allows for  a                                                                    
     $300  traffic  infraction.  Additionally,  the  current                                                                    
     confined-load  statute only  applies  to sand,  gravel,                                                                    
     rock  or similar  materials, leaving  out  a litany  of                                                                    
     objects  that  can  injure or  kill  other  drivers  or                                                                    
     pedestrians. This  bill updates Alaska's  combined load                                                                    
     statute  to  include  all materials  that  escape  your                                                                    
     vehicle  with  a  few   specific  exemptions.  It  also                                                                    
     requires  maintaining   six  inches  of   freeboard  or                                                                    
     tarping  loads consisting  of:  sand,  gravel, rock  or                                                                    
     similar materials.  It is  a responsible  public safety                                                                    
     measure   that   will  reduce   injuries,   fatalities,                                                                    
     property damage, and roadway litter.  It will be a move                                                                    
     in moving Alaska one step ahead.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:43:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT GRUENING, Staff, Representative Stutes, Alaska State                                                                       
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, provided an overview of HB 259 as                                                                  
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Whether someone  overflows the bed of  their truck with                                                                    
     rocks and  gravel, plywood,  scrap metal,  loose debris                                                                    
     on the  way to the  dump, or  simply fails to  tie down                                                                    
     large  objects in  a flatbed,  unsecured  loads are  an                                                                    
     undisputed  hazard to  other users  of the  roadway and                                                                    
     pedestrians.   Improperly  secured   loads  can   cause                                                                    
     serious injuries, property damage, and fatalities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The AAA  Foundation for  Traffic Safety  concluded that                                                                    
     from 2011  to 2014,  road debris was  a factor  in more                                                                    
     than  200,000  police-reported crashes,  those  crashes                                                                    
     resulted  in  approximately  39,000  injuries  and  500                                                                    
     deaths. Additionally,  the report found that  about two                                                                    
     thirds  of these  accidents were  the  result of  items                                                                    
     falling  from  a  vehicle due  to  unsecure  loads  and                                                                    
     improper maintenance.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     In another study by  the U.S. Government Accountability                                                                    
     Office it  was found that there  were approximately 440                                                                    
     fatalities caused by roadway  debris in 2010, that data                                                                    
     was  gathered by  the National  Highway Traffic  Safety                                                                    
     Administration.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     All  50  states  have  laws  that  require  drivers  to                                                                    
     properly  secure loads  in any  vehicle or  trailer and                                                                    
     impose  fees that  range from  $10 to  $5,000. In  most                                                                    
     states, failing to properly secure  a load is a traffic                                                                    
     violation. In Alaska,  as the representative indicated,                                                                    
     even if it  results in a serious physical  injury it is                                                                    
     an infraction punishable by a  fine not to exceed $300;                                                                    
     however,  in 15  states they  have instituted  possible                                                                    
     criminal  penalties  for  failing  to  properly  secure                                                                    
     loads.  I would  also  like  to note  that  there is  a                                                                    
     Legislative  Research report  that compares  those laws                                                                    
     and provides  additional information about  Maria's Law                                                                    
     in  Washington  state  which this  legislation  closely                                                                    
     resembles.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Last year the State of  Alaska, the mayor of Anchorage,                                                                    
     the  Anchorage  assembly,  the   mayor  of  the  Mat-Su                                                                    
     Borough,  and the  Mat-Su  Borough assembly  officially                                                                    
     declared June  6 as "Secure  Your Load Day"  by issuing                                                                    
     proclamations and  resolutions recognizing  the hazards                                                                    
     of failing to  take the simple steps  of affixing every                                                                    
     load.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING noted that in 2016, Solid Waste Services in                                                                        
Anchorage issued 1,392 citations for unsecured loads.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:46:17 PM                                                                                                                    
He continued the overview of HB 259 as follows:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     HB 259  establishes standards  for load  securement for                                                                    
     all  types  of  materials   and  requires  covering  or                                                                    
     maintaining   six  inches   of  freeboard   with  loads                                                                    
     consisting  of sand,  dirt, rock,  gravel, and  similar                                                                    
     materials.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I would  like to point  out that  there is a  very high                                                                    
     bar  in this  legislation  for somebody  to be  charged                                                                    
     with  a misdemeanor,  a violation  only gets  raised to                                                                    
     the level  of a class  A misdemeanor if a  person fails                                                                    
     to  secure  a load  with  a  mental stage  of  criminal                                                                    
     negligence and it results in  a serious physical injury                                                                    
     of  another  person.  Likewise, a  violation  can  only                                                                    
     become  a class  B  misdemeanor if  a  person fails  to                                                                    
     secure a  load with criminal negligence  and it results                                                                    
     in  $5,000  or  more  in  damage  to  another  person's                                                                    
     property. A  violation under any other  circumstance is                                                                    
     a traffic  infraction and  has a  penalty on  the first                                                                    
     offense of $300 which is consistent with current law.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The legislation will  decrease roadway litter, property                                                                    
     damage, injuries  and fatalities.  It is  a responsible                                                                    
     public safety  measure to  protect Alaskan  drivers and                                                                    
     avoid costly  repairs that result  from the  actions or                                                                    
     inactions of others.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.   GRUENING  provided   background   information  on   invited                                                               
testimony in  support of HB  259. He noted  that Robin Abel  is a                                                               
nationwide advocate  of load securement  and the mother  of Maria                                                               
Federici who is  the namesake of "Maria's Law," a  law adopted by                                                               
Washington state which criminalizes  a person's failure to secure                                                               
a load.  He added that Kelly  Roy from Alaska would  also address                                                               
committee members regarding  a tragedy she experienced  due to an                                                               
unsecured  load.   He  noted  that  under   the  state's  current                                                               
confined-load  statute, Ms.  Roy  had no  recourse  other than  a                                                               
littering   fine.  He   said  Ms.   Roy  brought   the  bill   to                                                               
Representative Stutes'  office in  hopes that others  could avoid                                                               
her experience.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He  summarized  that unsecured  load  incidences  happen all  too                                                               
often  and  are completely  avoidable  by  taking the  short  and                                                               
simple steps of  inspecting a load and securing  it if necessary,                                                               
before operating a vehicle.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
He referenced the sectional analysis for HB 259 as follows:                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1 on Page 1, line  3 through Page 3, line 9: AS                                                                    
     28.35.251 is repealed and reenacted:                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (a) on Page 1, lines 4 through 7:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection states  that a person is  guilty of the                                                                    
     crime of  failure to contain  or confine a load  in the                                                                    
     first  degree  if,  with a  mental  state  of  criminal                                                                    
     negligence,  they  violate  (c) and  as  result,  cause                                                                    
     serious  physical injury  to  another person.  Criminal                                                                    
     negligence  applies  to the  act  of  the securing  the                                                                    
     load.  Failure to  contain  or confine  a  load in  the                                                                    
     first degree is a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (b) on Page 1, lines 8 through 10:                                                                          
     This subsection states  that a person is  guilty of the                                                                    
     crime of  failure to contain  or confine a load  in the                                                                    
     second  degree  if,   with  criminal  negligence,  they                                                                    
     violate  (c) and  as result,  cause property  damage of                                                                    
     $5,000 or  more to another person's  property. Criminal                                                                    
     negligence  applies  to the  act  of  the securing  the                                                                    
     load.  Failure to  contain  or confine  a  load in  the                                                                    
     second degree is a class B misdemeanor.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (c)(1)(A)(i)(ii) and (B)  on Page 1, line 11                                                                
     through Page 2, line 7:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection specifies  that a  person commits  the                                                                    
     offense of failure to contain  or confine a load in the                                                                    
     third  degree if  the person  drives or  moves a  motor                                                                    
     vehicle loaded  with any material  on a  highway unless                                                                    
     it is  secured or  situated in a  way that  prevents it                                                                    
     from  escaping the  vehicle or  shifting to  the extent                                                                    
     that  the  vehicle's  maneuverability or  stability  is                                                                    
     adversely affected  and the load is  treated by methods                                                                    
     approved  through  regulation   by  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Public Safety that  are designed to settle  the load or                                                                    
     remove  loose  material  before   it  is  driven  on  a                                                                    
     highway. Failure  to contain or  confine a load  in the                                                                    
     third degree is an infraction.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (c)(2) on Page 2, lines 9 through 12:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection  specifies that a  person may  drive or                                                                    
     move a  motor vehicle  loaded with sand,  gravel, dirt,                                                                    
     rock,  or similar  materials if  at least  6 inches  of                                                                    
     freeboard  is maintained  around the  perimeter of  the                                                                    
     load or a cover is used and securely fastened.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (d)(1) on Page 2, lines 13 through 16:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection is  an exemption  that specifies  that                                                                    
     the provisions  of this act  do not apply to  a vehicle                                                                    
     that  deposits sand,  liquids, or  other materials  for                                                                    
     the  purpose  of  cleaning, maintaining,  or  improving                                                                    
     traction on the highway.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:52:36 PM                                                                                                                    
     Subsection (d)(2) on Page 2, lines 17 through 18:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection is  an exemption  that specifies  that                                                                    
     the provisions of this act  do not apply to the natural                                                                    
     accumulation  of  snow,  ice,  mud,  dirt,  or  similar                                                                    
     materials.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (d)(3) on Page 2, line 19:                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection is  an exemption  that specifies  that                                                                    
     the provisions  of this act  do not apply to  a vehicle                                                                    
     that is removing snow or hauling snow after removal.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (d)(4) on Page 2, lines 20 through 21:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection is  an exemption  that specifies  that                                                                    
     the  provisions of  this  act do  not  apply to  random                                                                    
     litter escaping  a vehicle. Litter  is defined  in this                                                                    
     section  as  plastic   wrappers,  empty  plastic  bags,                                                                    
     leaves,  paper,  or  similar soft  materials.  "Random"                                                                    
     modifies "litter" to  clarify that a load  of litter is                                                                    
     not exempted.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (e) on Page 2, lines 22 through 24:                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     This  subsection specifies  that  in prosecution  under                                                                    
     (a) or  (b), which is  failure to contain or  confine a                                                                    
     load   in   the   first   degree   or   second   degree                                                                    
     respectively,   a  person   being   convicted  in   the                                                                    
     preceding 10 years  of a violation under  (c), which is                                                                    
     failure  to contain  or  confine a  load  in the  third                                                                    
     degree, is  prima facie evidence that  the person acted                                                                    
     with criminal negligence when securing the load.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (f)(1) on Page 2, lines 25 through 27:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection  specifies that  failure to  contain or                                                                    
     confine  a  load in  the  first  degree  is a  class  A                                                                    
     misdemeanor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (f)(2) on Page 2, lines 28 through 29:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection  specifies that  failure to  contain or                                                                    
     confine  a load  in  the  second degree  is  a class  B                                                                    
     misdemeanor.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection  (f)(3)(A), (B),  (C),  and (D)  on Page  2,                                                                
     line 30 through Page 3, line 7:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection  specifies that  failure to  contain or                                                                    
     confine a  load in  the third  degree is  an infraction                                                                    
     punishable  by a  fine of  not  more than  $300 on  the                                                                    
     first offense,  $750 on the  second offense,  $1,500 on                                                                    
     the third  offense, and $2,500  on the  fourth offense.                                                                    
     The penalty for the  first violation is consistent with                                                                    
     current statute.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Subsection (g) on Page 3, lines 7 through 8:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     This subsection  specifies that criminal  negligence in                                                                    
     this section has the meaning given in AS 11.81.900.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Section 2  on Page 3,  lines 5 through 6.  AS 28.35.253                                                                
     is amended by adding a new subsection:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This section  is a conforming amendment  to reflect the                                                                    
     repeal and reenactment of AS  28.35.251 in Section 1 of                                                                    
     the bill and  the repeal of AS  28.35.255. AS 28.35.255                                                                    
     currently houses  the penalties for violations  of both                                                                    
     AS 28.35.251  and AS 28.35.253. Violating  AS 28.35.253                                                                    
     is currently an infraction  and there is no substantive                                                                    
     change.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Section 3 on Page 3, line 11:                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     This section repeals 28.35.255.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:56:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON  asked how many people  may have a second  or more                                                               
infractions under the current law.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING answered  that he did not know.  He suggested posing                                                               
the question to  the Alaska State Troopers. He added  that he was                                                               
not  sure  if  the  Alaska   State  Troopers  tracked  subsequent                                                               
offenses.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON  asked if more  of the penalties for  serious harm                                                               
covered  through  insurance or  covered  through  the process  of                                                               
going through civil court rather  than criminalize someone who is                                                               
moving down the road and a strap falls off.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING  replied that a  person who strapped their  load and                                                               
the strap came  loose would not be liable for  a criminal penalty                                                               
under HB  259 because  the individual would  not have  acted with                                                               
criminal  negligence when  they secured  their load.  He detailed                                                               
"criminal negligence" as follows:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     A person acts with  criminal negligence with respect to                                                                    
     a result or a circumstance  described by a provision of                                                                    
     law  defining  an  offense  when   a  person  fails  to                                                                    
     perceive  a  substantial  and unjustifiable  risk  that                                                                    
     will occur or that the circumstances exist.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRUENING   emphasized  the  following   regarding  "criminal                                                               
negligence:"                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     The  risk must  be such  a nature  and degree  that the                                                                    
     failure to  perceive it  constitutes a  gross deviation                                                                    
     from  the  standard of  care  that  a reasonable  would                                                                    
     reserve in a situation.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING  summarized that criminal negligence  would occur if                                                               
a person failed to perceive  a situation that a reasonable person                                                               
under a gross deviation for a  standard of care that results in a                                                               
serious physical  injury of another  person. He said  someone who                                                               
tries to  secure a  load or  that a  reasonable person  would not                                                               
perceive as a risk would  not be statutorily liable. He continued                                                               
as follows:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     I  think when  we were  drafting this,  we viewed  that                                                                    
     offense  as  a  serious  enough  nature  if  those  two                                                                    
     circumstances existed, the  serious physical injury and                                                                    
     the  criminal negligence,  to rise  to the  level of  a                                                                    
     misdemeanor  instead  of   leaving  somebody  to  civil                                                                    
     recourses.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:59:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  added that  securing  a  load takes  very                                                               
little effort when the act could very possibly be saving a life.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON voiced concern that  he feared a situation where a                                                               
person  helps a  friend move  but  the individual  does not  know                                                               
whether a load is secure or the laws that apply.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  asserted that securing something  that has                                                               
the potential  to come out of  one's truck and injure  someone is                                                               
almost common sense.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  EGAN  addressed  a letter  from  Aves  Thompson,  Alaska                                                               
Trucking Association, saying that the legislation is not needed.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  GRUENING agreed  that the  letter from  the Alaska  Trucking                                                               
Association  asserted  that  the legislation  duplicates  current                                                               
laws.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  EGAN opined  that the  current laws  do nothing  for the                                                               
general public.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING  agreed that while  the Alaska  Trucking Association                                                               
is  heavily regulated  for securing  loads, the  public does  not                                                               
have  requirements.  He  said the  association's  issue  was  the                                                               
legislation's requirement for trucks to  place a tarp over gravel                                                               
or have six  inches of freeboard, a non-issue  exemption that has                                                               
been  law for  almost 10  years in  the state  of Washington.  He                                                               
summarized that the  legislation covers the public  and adds more                                                               
stringent requirements than are needed for dealing with gravel.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:03:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:04:45 PM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  ROY, representing  self, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support  of  HB  259.  She  provided details  related  to  a  car                                                               
accident she experienced  due to an unsecured load.  She said she                                                               
has been fighting  for three years to get back  what she lost for                                                               
something that could have been  prevented by securing a load. She                                                               
confirmed  Mr.  Gruening's  statistical  analysis  for  Anchorage                                                               
where 1,392  citations were  issued in  2016 for  unsecured loads                                                               
going to  the landfill  and 1,191 citations  issued in  2017. She                                                               
said her  hope is the  legislation will educate and  remind every                                                               
person how dangerous an unsecured load really is.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:09:57 PM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN ABEL, representing self,  Seattle, Washington, testified in                                                               
support  of  HB   259.  She  provided  details   related  to  her                                                               
daughter's 2004  car accident that  happened in  Washington state                                                               
due to an  unsecured load. She disclosed that  the unsecured load                                                               
incident  was  not  a  crime  in  Washington  state,  strictly  a                                                               
littering  ticket. She  said the  law was  changed the  following                                                               
year  by legislation  named after  her daughter,  Maria Federici,                                                               
called "Maria's  Law." She disclosed that  truckers in Washington                                                               
state  supported  the  law because,  "They  understood  this  law                                                               
enhanced  their current  six-inch rule  and they  didn't consider                                                               
this change anything but good  for safety." She added, "The tough                                                               
work begins after the law is  changed, it's one thing to change a                                                               
law  but a  lifetime  commitment  to educate  the  public on  the                                                               
importance of load securement."                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
She addressed  Senator Wilson's question regarding  a civil court                                                               
action as follows:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
       You have to have someone to go after to go to get                                                                        
      civil justice and it takes you years and when you do                                                                      
     get the check, it's no justice.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES THOMPSON,  Executive Director, Alaska  Trucking Association,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska,  testified  in   opposition  of  HB  259.  He                                                               
referenced a  letter he  sent to committee  members on  behalf of                                                               
the Alaska Trucking Association as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Our industry  is highly regulated  by both  federal and                                                                    
     state  statute and  regulation. The  commercial vehicle                                                                    
     load  securement regulations  are  very detailed,  very                                                                    
     specific.  I   believe  we  do   a  pretty   good  job.                                                                    
     Occasionally there's something that  falls off, but I'm                                                                    
     not  aware  of any  injuries  that  have resulted  from                                                                    
     dropping or leaking or spilling of loads.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. THOMPSON said  reference was made to the  1,300 violations at                                                               
Anchorage's   municipal   landfill.   He   disclosed   that   the                                                               
association has  never objected to securing  loads and emphasized                                                               
that  loads should  be secured.  He said  the association's  only                                                               
point is commercial vehicles are  already bound by strict statute                                                               
and regulation  for load securement.  He specified that  when the                                                               
association states that  HB 259 is duplicative,  the duplicity is                                                               
relative  to  the  trucking  industry.  He  summarized  that  the                                                               
association was in opposition of  HB 259 due to the legislation's                                                               
duplicity and commercial vehicle coverage.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He noted that Representative Stutes  mentioned securing loads was                                                               
easy and  inexpensive. He pointed  out that  a canvas tarp  for a                                                               
"belly dump" or  "end dump" truck can run from  $6,000 to $8,000.                                                               
He said the  association feels its operators  are currently doing                                                               
a safe job and loads are being contained.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:07 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN LOWDEN, Captain, Alaska State  Troopers, Alaska Department of                                                               
Public  Safety,  Anchorage,  Alaska, addressed  Senator  Wilson's                                                               
question  regarding multiple  citations for  unsecured loads.  He                                                               
said  the  Department  of  Public  Safety  could  share  citation                                                               
departmental numbers,  but there  was no repository  for tracking                                                               
unsecured load citations from individual municipalities.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILSON  asked that the  Department of  Transportation and                                                               
Public Facilities address his  question regarding funds available                                                               
to  states to  raise awareness  on unsecured  loads. He  asked if                                                               
federal funding was available to Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:21:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE   LESMANN,  Legislative   Liaison,   Alaska  Department   of                                                               
Transportation  and Public  Facilities, Juneau,  Alaska, said  he                                                               
would get back to the committee with an answer to the question.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING  responded to Mr.  Thompson's previous  testimony as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     We  do agree  that  they have  stringent standards  for                                                                    
     load securement. From our  perspective though, we don't                                                                    
     see why  the bill should  not apply  to them if  one of                                                                    
     their  operators  with  criminal negligence  failed  to                                                                    
     secure  their load  and it  killed  another person.  If                                                                    
     they  don't abide  by  their  own securement  standards                                                                    
     with  criminal negligence  and that  result occurs,  we                                                                    
     have a  difficult time seeing  why the public  would be                                                                    
     liable to that standard, but the truckers wouldn't.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     To his  point about  the cost of  tarping, we  did that                                                                    
     analysis, we did  come up with a  different figure than                                                                    
     $8,000, it was closer to  $2,500 to $3,000; but, the 6-                                                                    
     inch freeboard exemption has existed  in law for a long                                                                    
     time in Washington  state. DOT's fiscal note  is a zero                                                                    
     fiscal note because they already  abide by the six-inch                                                                    
     freeboard exemption  for dirt,  rock, sand,  gravel, or                                                                    
     similar materials.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     So, there's two  options in the bill, there  is tarp or                                                                    
     six inches  of freeboard around the  perimeter. DOT can                                                                    
     abide by  it, the  Washington state truckers  can abide                                                                    
     by it, I  don't see how it is going  to require them to                                                                    
     all purchase tarps.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:23:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES thanked the committee for hearing the bill                                                                
and Ms. Roy for traveling from Anchorage to testify in person.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:23:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN held HB 259 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:23:41 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Stedman adjourned the Senate Transportation Standing                                                                      
Committee meeting at 2:23 p.m.                                                                                                  

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