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Record No: CB 118651    Version: 1 Council Bill No: CB 118651
Type: Council Bill (CB) Status: Retired
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 4/13/2016
Ordinance No:
Title: AN ORDINANCE related to the operation of open-air tour vehicles; creating a new Chapter 15.66 in the Seattle Municipal Code; and amending Section 15.91.002 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: Tim Burgess, Debora Juarez
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Central Staff Memo (4/13/16)


ORDINANCE __________________

COUNCIL BILL __________________


AN ORDINANCE related to the operation of open-air tour vehicles; creating a new Chapter 15.66 in the Seattle Municipal Code; and amending Section 15.91.002 of the Seattle Municipal Code.


WHEREAS, distracted driving by motorists poses a significant risk of injury or death to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists; and

WHEREAS, the dangers of distracted driving are more likely to be magnified by the operation of an open-air tour vehicle where information and entertainment are shared through music, noise, interaction with passengers, as well as interaction with pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, narration and entertainment in an open-air tour vehicle also serve as a distraction to other drivers; and

WHEREAS, open-air tour vehicle drivers have increased responsibilities because of the potentially large number of passengers, large vehicle mass, and lack of side windows that increase the danger of serious injury to persons inside and outside of the vehicle in a collision; and

WHEREAS, prohibiting open-air tour vehicle drivers from conducting tour narration or entertainment while driving in the City will reduce distracted driving and advance traffic safety by reducing the likelihood of collisions and injuries caused by distracted driving; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. Effective June 1, 2016, a new Chapter 15.66 is added to the Seattle Municipal Code as follows:

                     Chapter 15.66 TOUR VEHICLE OPERATION

                     15.66.010 Definitions

                     For purposes of this Chapter 15.66:

                     “Entertainment” means an in-person performance in a vehicle for the amusement of passengers or other observers that interferes with the driver’s attention to driving. Examples include, but are not limited to, chanting; cheerleading; musical, comedic, or dramatic acts, routines, or recitations; dancing; athletics; or the act of donning or removing costumes.

                     “Open-air tour vehicle” means any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, that is not enclosed with a permanent fixed rigid roof, permanent windows and pillars, and that is used to provide a tour or tours. “Open-air tour vehicle” includes, but is not limited to, amphibious vehicles that have been modified to transport passengers for touring purposes.

                     “Tour narration” means live, in-person, regular and ongoing narrative oral communication directed to passengers.

                     15.66.020 Tour narration or entertainment by drivers

                     It shall be a violation of this Title 15 for any driver of any open-air tour vehicle to engage in tour narration or entertainment while such vehicle is in motion on any public street, road, or highway within the limits of The City of Seattle.

                     Section 2. Effective June 1, 2016, subsection 15.91.002.A of the Seattle Municipal Code, which section was last amended by Ordinance 124598, is amended as follows:

                     15.91.002 Scope

                     A.                     Violations of the following provisions of Seattle Municipal Code Title 15 shall be enforced under the citation or criminal provisions set forth in this Chapter 15.91 by the Director of Transportation:

1.                     Use and Occupation Permits-No permit obtained (Section 15.04.010);

2.                     Marquees, Awnings, Canopies, and Decorative Elements (Chapter 15.10);

3.                     Signs, Banners, and Street Clocks (Chapter 15.12);

4.                     Newsstands (Chapter 15.14);

5.                     Building Cleaning or Painting (Chapter 15.20);

6.                     Vending (Chapter 15.17);

7.                     Warning Lights and Barricades (Chapter 15.40);

8.                     Debris in Public Places (Chapter 15.46);

9.                     Snow and ice removal (Section 15.48.010);

10.                     Barbed wire or electric fence (Section 15.48.020);

11.                     Obstruction of utility or traffic facilities prohibited (Section 15.22.050);

12.                     Removal of earth and debris (Section 15.22.060);

13.                     Mixing of mortar or concrete (Section 15.22.070);

14.                     Permit to drive over sidewalk or curb (Section 15.22.100);

15.                     Barricades and warning devices (Section 15.44.010);

16.                     Dangerous Structures on Adjoining Property (Chapter 15.18);

17.                     Permit Required - failure to comply with conditions of permit (Section 15.04.010);

18.                     Sidewalk Cafes (Chapter 15.16);

19.                     Scaffolds (Chapter 15.24);

20.                     Backfilling (Chapter 15.26);

21.                     Building and Equipment Moving (Chapter 15.28);

22.                     Lifting Heavy Equipment (Chapter 15.36);

23.                     Crowd Control Event (Chapter 15.52);

24.                     Tree and Vegetation Management in Public Places (Chapter 15.43);

25.                     At-grade Communication Cabinets (Section 15.32.200 and 15.32.250) ((.)) ; and

26.                     Tour Vehicle Operation (Chapter 15.66).

* * *


                     Section 3. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days after its approval by the Mayor, but if not approved and returned by the Mayor within ten days after presentation, it shall take effect as provided by Seattle Municipal Code Section 1.04.020.

Passed by the City Council the ____ day of ________________________, 2016, and

signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this

_____ day of ___________________, 2016.



                                                                                                         President __________ of the City Council


                     Approved by me this ____ day of _____________________, 2016.



                                                                                                         Edward B. Murray, Mayor


                     Filed by me this ____ day of __________________________, 2016.



                                                                                                         Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk