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.
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.
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.
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:
2. a skateboard;
3. roller skates;
4. in-line skates;
5. a scooter;
6. a moped;
7. a bicycle; or
8. a motorcycle.”