After bringing attention to your stories about unsecured loads along Washington roads, one lawmaker wants to hear more stories to help inform legislation.
Washington state Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) contacted KING 5 after hearing one story. Kilduff said she sponsored a 2016 bill that would have partly closed what many consider a loophole in Washington's secure your load law had the legislation been successful.
The bill would have required drivers of large trucks hauling gravel, sand, or dirt to use truck bed cover, if their trucks are equipped with a cover.
Kilduff plans to rework the bill and introduce it into the 2020 legislative session. She also wants to hear from Washingtonians who care about the issue.
“I would like to connect with the folks you’ve talked to learn more and build support for the idea," Kilduff said.
One viewer Kilduff wants to connect with is Jimi Burleigh, who shared his terrifying experience on I-5 in June.
Burleigh was driving his SUV in South Seattle when he said a rock flew off the back of an uncovered dump truck, travelling in another lane, about 200 feet ahead of him. Burleigh said the rock shattered his driver’s side window.
Burleigh said he was shaken as the glass cascaded down the window and onto his arm. He pulled over to the side of the freeway to collect himself.
“I was kind of freaked out,” said Burleigh. He said he can’t understand why Washington state law allows dump trucks to travel with uncovered loads, when he and all other non-commercial drivers face fines, and possible arrest, for driving with an unsecured load.
We heard from many drivers in the 5 Hive group who are angry. Some shared stories of brand new cars with dinged windshields due to rocks flying off the back of big trucks with uncovered loads. Many were confused what the law actually says.
Washington state law says trucks with a carrying capacity of 8,500 gross pounds or more do NOT have to cover their loads of gravel, sand or dirt if they maintain at least six inches of free-board. That means trucks can be filled almost all the way to the top, save six inches around the sides (the freeboard) of the truck bed, and the drivers don’t have to cover their loads.