Radio Report: House Transportation Committee rejects Robertson amendment, passes weakened vehicle pursuit bill

A police vehicle pursuit bill has passed a second House committee and survived a critical legislative bill deadline. But it still narrowly restricts when law enforcement can chase a suspect driving away. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: The House Transportation Committee voted Thursday on vehicular pursuit – House Bill 1363

STAFF: “Mr. Chair, there are 22 aye, six nay, one excused, zero absent.”

It’s still far from the original bill that sought to restore the “reasonable suspicion” standard that was in place before the law was changed in 2021.

STAFF: “It provides that an officer may not engage in a vehicular pursuit unless they have a reasonable suspicion of one of six particular crimes – either a violent offense, a sex offense, a vehicular assault, an escape, assault in the first, second, third or fourth degree that involves domestic violence, or driving under the influence.”

SATTGAST: In the committee, the Republican co-sponsor, Representative Eric Robertson, attempted to expand the ability for law enforcement to engage in pursuits. But Democrats rejected his amendment, leaving what he called a weaker bill.

ROBERTSON: “Still handcuffing our folks in law enforcement – the men and women that are trained to do a job and keep our communities safe. And we’re putting parameters around their ability to apprehend criminals.”

SATTGAST: Still, with the legislative session not quite halfway, Robertson is hopeful he can restore and expand the bill if or when it reaches the House floor.

John Sattgast, the state Capitol


Washington State House Republican Communications
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