March 7, the state House passed a bill Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place) to help build a stronger, safer railway network by giving the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission the authority to oversee rail safety in Washington state.
HB 1418 passed in a 89-6 vote with bipartisan support.
“From the Amtrak derailment near DuPont in 2017 that took three lives and injured dozens more to the oil-train derailment near Custer in December and too many other derailments across our state, it’s clear that we need stronger rail safety,” Leavitt said. “This bill will help keep our railways safe and prevent future tragedies.”
Leavitt is a champion for rail safety and serves as a Co-Chair from the House on the Joint Rail Caucus. In the previous legislative session, she introduced a bipartisan bill requiring the Joint Transportation Committee to oversee a study on rail safety. The recommendations from the study helped shape HB 1418.