Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, has been named 'Legislator of the Year" for 2011 by the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs.
Dave Hayes, the council's president, said the group presented the award today to Haugen for "her responsiveness to public safety issues."
In the 2011 legislative session, those issues included Haugen’s Senate Bill 5000, directing police to impound the vehicles of motorists cited for driving under the influence for a minimum of 12 hours. Known as Hailey’s Law, SB 5000 was inspired by the case of Hailey Huntley. Hailey’s car was hit head-on by a woman who had been cited for driving under the influence but was released, caught a taxicab back to her vehicle, and resumed driving. Huntley suffered a broken pelvis, leg and knee, a crushed foot and collapsed lungs. In the four years since the crash, Huntley has had to undergo 15 surgeries. Haugen’s bill prevents cited motorists from being able to retrieve and drive their cars while still intoxicated.
The range of public safety legislation supported by Haugen has run the gamut from funding of a criminal justice compound to train recruits, backup beepers on industrial vehicles, secure load laws, bills to crack down on fake IDs and drivers licenses, truck safety, and legislative fixes to unsafe stretches of numerous roads, Hayes said.
“The list is endless,” Hayes said. “Every time we come to Sen. Haugen with an issue, we know we can expect results and a reasonable solution.”
“When it comes to transportation, public safety is paramount,” said Haugen, whose role as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee strongly influences the state’s policies. “We want reduce congestion and improve transit, too, but more important than anything else is the safety of the people who travel in and around our state.”