Passage of Highway Safety, Terrorism Exclusion Legislation Highlight 2005 Idaho Legislative Session

April 21, 2005

Idaho’s 2005 legislative session was marked as much by what legislation was passed as by what was not passed, according to the American Insurance Association (AIA).

“Idaho legislators and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R) approved HB 160, a measure creating an exclusion from commercial property coverage for losses from foreign terrorism. AIA advocated for this exclusion in the event that Congress fails to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act this year, leaving insurance companies exposed for incalculable risk from terrorist acts,” said Steve Suchil, AIA assistant vice president, western region.

Many measures affecting highway safety were considered by the Idaho legislature this year.

“Lawmakers approved two important highway safety bills that had failed passage repeatedly over the last three years,” said Suchil. “Children under the age of six will now have to ride in booster seats and young people under eighteen will have to wear helmets when riding motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles.” Gov. Kempthorne quickly signed both HB 178 and SB 1130 into law.

“Meanwhile, AIA and others in the insurance industry lobbied hard to defeat two onerous bills that would have actually reduced safety on Idaho’s highways,” said Suchil. “The trucking industry and the Idaho Department of Transportation sponsored two bills to raise the speed limit for trucks on the state highway system and the federal interstate system. These bills would have allowed double and triple tractor-trailers to drive 75 mph, putting all other drivers on those roads in danger. While these measures were defeated this year, we would not be surprised if they try to pass similar bills again during next year’s legislative session.”

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