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Published on Friday, March 20, 2015

Bills would release cities from liability when ATVs operated on public roadways

HB 1817/SB 5411, sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) and Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn), creates a liability immunity for local jurisdictions when all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are operated on public roadways. In 2013 the Legislature established a new classification of vehicles known as wheel all-terrain vehicles (WATVs). These are motorized non-highway vehicles and utility vehicles that meet certain height, width, weight, and wheel requirements. The WATV designation allows off-road and, in certain circumstances, on-road use. HB 1817/SB 5411 modify the standards for the declaration required for on-road WATV use, including adding counties, cities and towns to the release of liability already provided to the state.

Both bills are moving through the Legislature. HB 1817 had a public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 19. SB 5411 is scheduled for public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 24, at 10 am.

Categories: General government