Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/05/1994 03:00 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  HB 301 - BAN SALE OF SOME STUDDED TIRES AND STUDS                            
  Number 010                                                                   
  REP. MARK HANLEY, Prime Sponsor of HB 301, concurred with                    
  Chairman Hudson that the short title of the bill is                          
  misleading.  He mentioned that the Department of                             
  Transportation has been doing road wear studies during the                   
  past few years and the results of these, as well as research                 
  done in other parts of this country and other countries, all                 
  indicate that studded tires cause significant wear to the                    
  roads.  He mentioned that he introduced this bill last year                  
  to initiate discussion, and since that time he traveled to                   
  Finland and talked with people there about this issue.                       
  Also, during the past year the department has determined                     
  that there are light weight studs that fit into tires and                    
  that decreasing the weight of studs can reduce up to 50                      
  percent of the road wear.  He said the actual stud casing is                 
  either plastic or aluminum.  He also pointed out that the                    
  bill prohibits the use of studs that are heavier than a                      
  certain weight.  The availability of the lighter weight                      
  studs was initially a concern; however, Johnson's Tire                       
  Service, the largest dealer in Anchorage, might elect to use                 
  the lighter studs as soon as next year as a marketing tool,                  
  thereby signifying that availability is not as great a                       
  concern as was anticipated.  The additional expense of using                 
  lighter weight studs is estimated to cost anywhere from                      
  fifty cents to two dollars per tire, and as production                       
  increases that cost might decrease.  Studies over the past                   
  eight years show that it is the actual change in weight of                   
  the stud that affects the road wear, and with regard to                      
  stopping, the stud itself remains hard and does not wear                     
  Number 038                                                                   
  REP. SITTON said he supports this bill, but questioned if                    
  tire retailers and marketers would if stuck with an                          
  inventory of tires that are illegal to sell, and he wondered                 
  if there would be any recourse with a manufacturer.                          
  Number 042                                                                   
  REP. HANLEY said the act takes effect in 1998 and he might                   
  suggest that it move to 1997.  He said there was a concern                   
  to provide adequate time, but since they heard from                          
  Johnson's Tire Service in Anchorage, it appears that people                  
  have plenty of time to adapt.  He said there are apparently                  
  only two plants in Europe that manufacture studs for snow                    
  tires and they are already going to be making these light                    
  weight designs.                                                              
  Number 050                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked what the observed effect was on traction.                  
  Number 052                                                                   
  REP. HANLEY mentioned that in the more current European                      
  studies it appears that there is little if any difference.                   
  Apparently, from the studies being done in Sweeden and                       
  Finland, the stopping ability between the light and heavy                    
  studs is similar, but the road wear is different.  He said                   
  it is only the casing that shows a difference and that is                    
  inside the tires so it does not actually affect whether you                  
  are stopping.  He commented that it seems like a win-win                     
  Number 060                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked what the results were of discussions                   
  with the Department of Transportation.  They had previously                  
  asked that the bill be amended to include an additional                      
  requirement regarding maximum stud hardness.  Chairman                       
  Hudson also asked if there was anyone from the department to                 
  speak to this issue.                                                         
  Number 065                                                                   
  REP. HANLEY reported that there has been an on-going debate                  
  with the Department of Transportation.  He said there is                     
  only one distributer of studs for snow tires in the United                   
  States, located in Florida, and he will be carrying the new                  
  lighter weight studs.  He explained there are two                            
  manufacturing factories, both in Germany, that are                           
  apparently the only ones that make these items, and the                      
  softer metal studs are not being produced anymore.  He                       
  commented that some people want to totally ban studded snow                  
  tires, and that evidence shows that with good tires you get                  
  as good a stopping distance.  He stated that he does not                     
  want to go to this extent, that there are no studs with the                  
  "Rockwell scale" being made now and he does not want to put                  
  a back door route into the system to eliminate studded snow                  
  tires, especially since there is, seemingly, a win-win first                 
  step that can reduce up to 50 percent of the road wear at a                  
  cost not much more than the current one.                                     
  Number 085                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if there were any further questions.                   
  He asked for the wish of the committee.                                      
  (Chairman Hudson indicated that Rep. Green had arrived.)                     
  Number 087                                                                   
  REP. PORTER made a motion to move the HB 301 out of the                      
  committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal                    
  note.  After some discussion on the 1988 implementation                      
  date, CHAIRMAN HUDSON acknowledged that there had been no                    
  amendment regarding this date and Rep. Porter withdrew his                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that HB 301 was before the committee,                 
  capable of being amended.  He noted that the prime sponsor's                 
  recommendation was to change the date from July 1, 1998, to                  
  July 1, 1997.  He asked for the wish of the committee.  It                   
  was so moved that the bill be amended with the                               
  implementation date changed to 1997.  Hearing no objection,                  
  the amendment was so adopted.                                                
  REP. PORTER then renewed his motion to move the bill.                        
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON indicated that there were no objections to                   
  moving HB 301 with the attached fiscal note.                                 
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON announced the next order of business would                   
  be committee substitute (CS) for HB 388.                                     

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