A Washington state lawmaker introduced a bill that would increase restroom access for truck drivers.

Rep. Mike Sells recently introduced HB 1706, a bill “concerning truck drivers ability to access restroom facilities.”

The bill would make it illegal for retail establishments to refuse truck drivers access to restrooms as long as certain conditions are met.

From the text of the bill:

A retail establishment that has a restroom must allow a common carrier delivering goods to the retail establishment to use that restroom during normal business hours if:

(a) The restroom is located in an area where providing access would not create an obvious health or safety risk to the common carrier; and

(b) Allowing the common carrier to access the restroom does not pose an obvious security risk to the retail establishment or its employees.

The bill defines a “Common carrier” as any person who transports goods for the general public by motor vehicle for compensation, including drayage truck operators. 

Owners/operators of retail establishments would receive a warning letter after the first violation. After the first violation, the retail establishment would be in violation of a class 2 civil infraction and subject to a $125 fine.

The bill also contains a provision that would require marine terminal operators to provide drayage truck operators with access to sufficient restroom facilities.

OOIDA has spoken out in favor of the legislation.

Gaining access to restroom facilities has been a long standing problem for truck drivers, but since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, truckers across the country have struggled even more to find available bathrooms as many facilities restricted access in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

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