OLYMPIA – A bill by Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, to expand access to HOV lanes for blood donation vehicles passed the state Senate unanimously today.

“Blood donation, as well as plasma and tissue donation, is vital to helping those who are critically ill,” Saldaña said. “My father became a blood donor as a child so he could help his sister, and has continued to be a donor in Washington state. With increased technology, better blood-type matches are possible – making the quick transport of life-saving blood ever more important. This is an issue that has touched many of us, and this bill will help ensure blood donation vehicles can continue to do their best work as we evaluate how HOV lanes can better serve Washingtonians.”

Senate Bill 5837 creates a two-year period for the Washington State Department of Transportation to reexamine its rules surrounding access to HOV lanes. This will be done through a public process, specifically looking at impacts of allowing vehicles that deliver or collect blood, tissue, or blood components to use the HOV lanes. Bloodworks Northwest testified in favor of the bill. They deliver more than 600,000 units of blood to nearly 90 hospitals throughout the Northwest and Alaska.