OOIDA backs Washington state bill mandating restroom access for truckers

January 5, 2022

Keith Goble

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If one Washington state lawmaker gets his way, truck drivers operating around the state would get assurances for access to restroom facilities.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association welcomes the pursuit to aid truck drivers.

Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, is chairman of the House Labor and Work Force Standards Committee. His bill would require a retail establishment to allow a common carrier delivering goods to the establishment access to a restroom during normal business hours. Marine terminals also are covered in the legislation.

Affected retail establishments are defined as “a place of business open to the general public for the sale of goods or services.”

Restrooms are defined as “a bathroom facility on the premises of, and operated by, a retail establishment” that is intended for use by customers or employees.

Two conditions must be met.
The restroom must be in an area where providing access would not create an obvious health or safety risk to the user.
Allowing the user to access the restroom does not pose an obvious security risk to the retail establishment or its employees.

Retail establishments that fail to follow the rule could face a $125 fine.

Access to restroom facilities at marine terminals is also covered.

Terminal operators would be required to provide “a sufficient number of restrooms” for use by drayage truckers in areas of the terminal that operators typically have access. Areas covered in the legislation include inside the gate and truck queuing lots.

Restrooms could include fixed bathrooms or portable toilets.

Terminal operators would be in compliance with the rule when a policy is in place to allow drayage truckers to leave their vehicles at “reasonable times and locations” for purposes of access restrooms.

Facilities must be in areas where access would not pose an “obvious health or safety risk” to the user.

Drayage truck operators accessing the terminal for the purpose of loading, unloading, or transporting cargo would be covered by the rule.

The department of health and the local health departments or divisions of each county would jurisdiction to enforce the rule.

HB1706 awaits assignment to committee for the regular session that begins Jan. 10.

OOIDA backs bill

Mike Matousek, OOIDA director of state legislative affairs, said the bill deserves support.

“Kudos to lawmakers in Washington state for introducing this bill. Truck drivers are essential to our way of life and the least we can do is give them more access to restrooms,” Matousek said. “That’s what this bill does and we’re going to do whatever we can to support it.” LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Washington.

 

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.