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Frockt sponsors Safe Streets bill in Olympia

Sen. David Frockt - contributed photo
Sen. David Frockt
— image credit: contributed photo

A bill to improve safety on Washington streets passed the Washington State Senate by a 45-2 vote Tuesday.

HB 1045 would cut the red tape for cities seeking to lower speed limits on neighborhood streets.

“All of the research is clear – a pedestrian’s chance of surviving an accident increases greatly as the speed of the car decreases,” said Sen. David Frockt, who represents Kenmore from the 46th District. “Communities should be able to stand up and say that they want safer streets for their kids and their families.”

Frockt was a co-sponsor of the companion bill to HB 1045 in the Senate. HB 1045 passed the House on a bipartisan 86-10 vote.

The bill would not directly change any speed limits but would allow cities and towns to lower speed limits on side streets – not major commercial streets or highways – without the need for costly engineering studies.

Right now, cities and counties must pay for an engineering report to raise or lower a speed limit. An engineering report would still be required to raise a speed limit, to ensure that the road could handle the higher speed. Since a road can always handle a lower speed, the engineering report would no longer be necessary to lower a speed limit. The reduction in red tape and expenses for local governments would improve local control over speed limits and increase governmental efficiency.

“This bill will save money and save lives,” said Frockt. “Safe and walkable streets are important for a livable neighborhood. With the passage of this bill, cities and towns across the state will have more flexibility to help keep people safe.” Studies show that a person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of dying. When the speed of the car drops to 20 mph, the pedestrian’s likelihood of dying drops to just 5 percent.

 

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