Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Transportation Committee

HB 2899

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Establishing a vehicle maintenance improvement program.

Sponsors: Representatives Gregerson, Doglio, Jinkins and Peterson.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Creates a vehicle maintenance improvement program for the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of routine vehicle maintenance, particularly for older vehicles, and to achieve environmental, economic, vehicle performance and reliability-related benefits attributable to proper vehicle maintenance.

  • Tasks the departments of Ecology (Ecology) and Commerce with administering the program, in conjunction with local government partners.

  • Appropriates $600,000 to Ecology to undertake the program.

Hearing Date: 2/5/18

Staff: Mark Matteson (786-7145).


In 2010 the Department of Ecology (Ecology), in collaboration with several local government partners, formed a vehicle leaks reduction committee, to research the factors that influence vehicle leaks in the Puget Sound region and to identify programmatic strategies for addressing the issue. The committee made several recommendations, including creating a program to encourage vehicle owners to identify and fix leaks voluntarily and to engage the auto industry to develop innovative solutions to minimize the type, frequency, and impact of leaks on water quality and road safety. Using grant funding, Ecology implemented this recommendation in a program called "Don't Drip and Drive."

The Don't Drip and Drive program was implemented in three phases. Under the first phase, in 2011-2013, the primary focus was to conduct initial formative research that provided insight into: the target audience; the barriers to and motivating factors for vehicle maintenance to address leaks; and the key strategies to change behavior. At the same time, Ecology piloted strategies to motivate vehicle owners to identify and repair leaks, including: a partnership with auto repair shops to provide free visual inspections; deployment of parking lot events to do leak checks; and collaborating with technical and community colleges to conduct in-depth half-day workshops. The program and campaign were expanded and further refined in the second phase, from 2014-2015, and included an evaluation on the campaign's effectiveness. Phase three, from 2016 to 2017, continued activities from the previous phases, as well as engaging oil lube shop franchisees to conduct free leak inspections during routine oil changes, including outreach in Spanish, and holding leak-check events at county fairs.

The Don't Drip and Drive program included tools for participating cities to provide localized outreach and activities. While county governments served as lead agencies for the campaign, municipalities participated: by recruiting auto repair shop participation; by conducting public leak-check events; and by using local newsletters, email lists, websites, bill inserts, and other channels to promote the campaign.

Summary of Bill:

A vehicle maintenance improvement program is created, based on the Don't Drip and Drive program, at Ecology from 2011-17. The new program requires Ecology, in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and local governments around the state, to undertake an ongoing vehicle maintenance improvement program to raise awareness and motivate vehicle owners, and especially those with older vehicles, to conduct proper and routine vehicle maintenance and yield improvements to the environment, vehicle reliability, and personal economy.

The role of the state is to:

Local governments are authorized to participate in the program and participate through:

A new appropriated account, the Vehicle Maintenance Improvement Account, is created. All receipts from local and private sector contributions related to the Vehicle Maintenance Improvement program must be deposited to the account. Receipts may be used only for the purposes of the program.

The Departments of Ecology and Commerce must evaluate the program every four years and report to the Governor and the transportation committees of the Legislature on the results of the program to date.

To implement the program, $600,000 from the Motor Vehicle Account is appropriated to Ecology.

Appropriation: $600,000 is appropriated from the Motor Vehicle Account to Ecology.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 29, 2018.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect on July 1, 2018.