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Backup Safety Devices Planned For Cargo Trucks

Wed., March 4, 1998

The Legislature on Tuesday sent the governor a measure pushed by the family of a 3-year-old boy killed when a commercial truck backed over him.

The proposal would require rear mirrors or backup warning devices on small commercial vehicles.

In other action, the House sent the Senate a last-minute bill to shift the responsibility of regulating adult boarding homes from the state Department of Health to the Department of Social and Health Services.

The Senate, meanwhile, sent the House a measure that would make it a crime for a person to make or view pictures or films of another person without the person’s knowledge if the purpose was for sexual gratification.

Voting 88-9, the House approved and sent to Gov. Gary Locke “C.J.’s Bill,” a Senate measure named after 3-year-old C.J. Norton of Lynnwood. He was killed in 1994 when a truck backed over him.

The bill, SB5727, sponsored by Sen. Jeannette Wood, R-Woodway, would require Washington-based delivery trucks with cargo boxes up to 18 feet long to be equipped with rear mirrors or backup warning devices.

The measure has been lobbied hard the past few years by C.J.’s family.

The House sent to the Senate a measure crafted just last week that would transfer regulatory oversight of the state’s 440 adult boarding homes from the Health Department to DSHS. The transfer would occur as soon as the measure became law. DSHS would retain oversight authority until July 1, 2000, at which time the Legislature would have to renew the authority.

The shift was sought by Long-Term Care Ombudsman Kary Hyre, who has contended in three reports over as many years that the Health Department has done a dismal job of ensuring that all the homes meet health and safety standards.

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