A Look at the Law of the CJ of Washington State

"C.J.'s Law," a law passed in Washington state in 1998, requires that certain cube-style trucks have rear-view mirrors or a rear-view device to alert the driver when someone or something is behind the vehicle.

A young child, C. J. Norton, was tragically killed in Lynnwood, Washington, in a parking lot when his back delivery truck ran into him. The desire for a new law that protects not only children but also all people from these kinds of accidents has pushed CJ's grandparents. These types of delivery vehicles now need to install mirrors or other devices as a way of warning drivers to threaten before they start backing up their vehicles. The law was passed by the Washington State Legislature in 1998 and entered into force in September of that year.

Now every truck type registered or headquartered in Washington state that is equipped with a load box of up to 18 feet and used to deliver goods or commercial services must be equipped with a rearview mirror or other safety device to alert the driver that behind the vehicle is someone or something. This law does not include recreational vehicles such as caravans or rental trucks used for the transportation of personal property such as moving vans.

Security devices required may be rear-view mirrors, a laser detector, video cameras, or any other motion-sensitive device capable of detecting the movement of a person or object at least six feet away from the rear of the vehicle.

Many less than eighteen feet long vans and delivery vans are exempt from this law; for example minivans, delivery jeeps and standard-size vans.