• Governor Markell to Sign Vulnerable Road Users Law

    by  • July 30, 2010 • Legislation and Policy • 3 Comments

    Gov. Markell will be signing SB 269 into law on Thursday August 12th at 12:00 PM at Paper Mill Park, Polly Drummond and Paper Mill Roads in Pike Creek.

    SB 269 amends the careless or inattentive driving law by enhancing the penalty for a careless or inattentive driver who contributes to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user in a public right of way. Delaware is only the third state in the nation to pass such a bill and barring unforeseen circumstances the second state in which the bill will become law. Oregon passed a law in 2007 and the Texas legislature passed a bill in 2009-only to have it vetoed by Governor Perry.

    The SB 269 was fashioned after the Oregon Law which is broken up into two sections. ORS 801.608 defines a “vulnerable user” and ORS 811.135 describes additional penalties for careless driving when vulnerable users are affected.
    Codifying and defining vulnerable road users, is in itself a huge step forward. Requiring police to note that a vulnerable user was seriously injured or killed in their reports should help raise awareness among law enforcement and the courts that pedestrians and bicyclists are legitimate road users and are entitled to legal protections.

    Many thanks to the bills sponsors – Sen. Sokola and Rep. Barbieri
    along with Sen. Bunting and Reps. Bennett, Carson, Hudson, Jaques, Miro, Schooley, D. Short, Walls & Brady.

    ————————————————————————————
    DELAWARE STATE SENATE
    145th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

    SENATE BILL NO. 269

    AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CARELESS OR INATTENTIVE DRIVING.

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

    Section 1. Amend §4176, Title 21, of the Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    “(d) (1) In addition to any other penalty imposed for an offense committed under this section, if the court determines that the commission of that offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user of a public right-of-way, the court shall:
    a. Impose a sentence that requires the person convicted of the offense to
    1. complete a traffic safety course approved by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles;
    2. Perform up to 100 hours of community service, which must include activities related to driver improvement and providing public education on traffic safety;
    b. Impose, but suspend on the condition that the person complete the requirements of paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section,
    1. A fine of not more than $550, and
    2. A suspension of driving privileges as provided in Section 2733(a)(2) of this Title; and
    3. Set a hearing date up to one year from the date of sentencing. At that hearing, the court shall:
    A. If the person has successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section, dismiss the penalties imposed under paragraph (d)(1)b. 1. and 2. of this section.

    B. If the person has not successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)(a) of this section, either
    I. grant the person an extension based on good cause shown, or
    II. impose the penalties under paragraph (d)(1)b. 1. and 2. of this section.
    (2) The police officer issuing the citation for an offense under this section shall note on the citation if the cited offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user of the public right-of-way. If so noted, the person receiving the citation shall not be permitted to use the voluntary assessment process otherwise permitted under Section 709 of this Title.
    (3) As used herein, “vulnerable user of a public right-of-way” means:
    a. a pedestrian, including those persons actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way; or
    b. a person riding an animal; or
    c. a person operating any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the highway:
    1. a farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
    2. a skateboard;
    3. roller skates;
    4. in-line skates;
    5. a scooter;
    6. a moped;
    7. a bicycle; or
    8. a motorcycle.”

    SYNOPSIS
    This Bill amends the careless or inattentive driving law by enhancing the penalty for a careless or inattentive driver who contributes to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user in a public right of way. The Bill defines vulnerable uses in public right of ways.

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    3 Responses to Governor Markell to Sign Vulnerable Road Users Law

    1. Andrew Jacob
      August 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

      Nice move… Careless driving is all ways a big concern for many of us, we do face careless drivers every day on road but now i hope this law may change the picture on road by increasing safety standards.

      Georgia Drivers Ed

    2. Ga
      December 24, 2010 at 2:41 am

      penalty overs careless driving is best move. care driving always create troubles to them as well as others

      Georgia Drivers Ed"

    3. Used cars
      August 3, 2011 at 4:43 am

      Wonderful suggestion for who drives with careless. Thanks for the share.

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