The Seattle Times reported today on the new laws brought about by the tragic accident involving Maria Federici. Ms. Federici was blinded and disfigured when a piece of an entertainment center flew off the truck in front of her and smashed through her windshield.
The Seattle Times reported,
Last May, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed into law House Bill 1478 — also known as “Maria’s Law” — which made it a gross misdemeanor if an unsecured load causes an injury, carrying with it a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. A driver whose unsecured items cause property damage can now be charged with a misdemeanor crime.
Before the law’s passage, drivers who lost their loads could only be cited for a traffic infraction with a maximum fine of $250.
A second bill, which builds on Maria’s Law, was signed by Gregoire on March 28. House Bill 2612 makes failing to secure a load a criminal act if it results in a death or injury. The new law also makes victims eligible for money from the state’s Crime Victims Compensation program.
Unsecured loads are a hazard on the road. If you or someone you know has been injured by an unsecured load, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately.