McCabe’s bills targeting practice of voyeurism, school bus safety pass House

A bill that would crack down on voyeurism, and another that would study the costs and benefits of equipping school buses with seat belts cleared the House Friday. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale.

McCabe, a past varsity coach and performing arts studio owner, says she introduced House Bill 2970 after learning about the practice of “upskirting,” where someone takes a cell phone camera or uses a video feature to record under the skirts of unknown victims. Under current law, a person must prove he or she was engaged in voyeurism for the purpose of arousal or sexual gratification. Her bill would eliminate that provision, and create a crime of voyeurism in the second degree.

“After hearing about the problem of 'upskirting' from my girls, I couldn't believe how difficult it would be to prosecute perpetrators in those situations,” said McCabe. “With the ever-changing wave of technology, it's important this bill passes so women feel safe not only in the halls of a school or college, but cases have surfaced in malls under stairways and even under bathroom stalls. Since last session when I first introduced this bill, there's been at least one known case where a teacher has been engaged with voyeurism at his school. Had my bill been enacted, the student would have had a clear course of action.”

McCabe's other legislation, House Bill 2639, would commission a study to analyze the costs and benefits of installing seat belts on school buses.

“Like all parents, I take student safety seriously. I think it sends an inconsistent message when we tell our kids to buckle up in cars, but neglect to do so on the bus to and from school,” said McCabe. “Now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration endorses the use of seat belts on school buses, as well as the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, there may be more interest to look into this important student safety measure.”

Six states currently require school-bus seat belts.

House Bill 2970 passed 93 – 0, and House Bill 2639 passed 87-9. Both move to the Senate for further consideration.



Washington State House Republican Communications