Reps. Dent and Ybarra issue statement on House approval of limited law enforcement vehicular pursuit law

After midnight on Monday lawmakers in the state House of Representatives passed the controversial law enforcement vehicle pursuit legislation.

Senate Bill 5352 would allow police to pursue suspects on a very limited basis. It would lower the “probable cause” standard for police pursuits to “reasonable suspicion” in limited cases involving those suspected of committing a violent crime, a sex offense, domestic violence-related offenses, driving under the influence, and trying to escape arrest.

Washington State 13th District Reps. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, and Alex Ybarra, R-Quincy voted in favor of the bill and issued the following statement:

“We have had numerous conversations with our local law enforcement officials since the disastrous policy passed in 2021. They needed some progress in changing this flawed law back to the way it was. Doing nothing this session was not an option. We recently had two young children killed in our region because police could not pursue the vehicle. If this incremental step saves one life it is worth it.

“While we voted in favor of this bill, it does not go far enough. Our law enforcement needs more, our communities deserve to feel safe. This issue is not going away. This vote does not end the discussion and we expect it will be before us next session until we get a more comprehensive solution for our law enforcement officials and the safety of our communities.”

Senate Bill 5352 was approved by the House with a vote of 57-40. The bill now heads to Senate for a concurrence vote on the amended version of the bill.


Washington State House Republican Communications