Trucking advocates met with a Senate committee on Monday to discuss improvements to an upcoming bill that would require granting truckers access to restrooms.
The meeting took place virtually on February 21st and included the OOIDA, the Washington Trucking Associations, and the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee as they discussed the House-approved Bill, HB1706.
In its current state, the bill would require Washington terminal, port, and retail operators to provide “a sufficient number of restrooms” for truckers in areas of the terminal where operators have access, such as inside the gate and truck queuing lots, where access would not present an “obvious health or safety risk” to the truckers. Fixed restrooms and portable toilets would both qualify as ‘sufficient restrooms.’ Any drivers involved in loading, unloading, or transporting cargo to and from the terminal would be covered under the bill.
During Monday’s meeting, OOIDA VP Lewie Pugh explained to lawmakers that the bill would address “a basic human need” that has been a daily dilemma for drivers for years. Pugh even requested that the Bill’s language be updated to include shippers and receivers in the trucke restroom requirement, not just ports and retailers.
“I can’t tell you how many shippers and receivers I’ve been at over the years that had no place for truck drivers to use the restroom,” Pugh said. “Let me rephrase that – most places had restrooms, many just didn’t let me use them.”
Pugh said that, should Washington succeed in passing this bill, other states may follow suit.
“Washington state would be recognized as a national leader on an issue that is so basic, yet so challenging, and hopefully it would spur other states to follow your lead.”