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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 29, 2017 04:13 PM
From: Representative Brett R. Miller and Rep. John Taylor
To: All House members
Subject: Vulnerable Highway User Protections
In the near future we will be introducing legislation that will amend Title 75 (Vehicles) that will define the term “Vulnerable Highway User” and also increase the penalties for a person convicted of careless driving that results in either the death, serious bodily injury, or bodily injury of a Vulnerable Highway User.

The majority of highway users benefit from decades of research and development, technological innovations, government regulations, and advanced engineering to make their highway experience as safe as possible. However, there exists a large segment of highway users who, due to the nature of their means of transportation, do not benefit from seat belts, steel cages that crumple, and air bags. Primarily these are pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchairs, motorcyclists, horseback riders, horse and carriages, and farm equipment. They are relatively far more vulnerable to the dangers present on our highways but lack any extra protections in the law.

Under the current law careless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in careless disregard for the safety of persons or property. While it is right to prohibit careless driving altogether, it is downright intolerable when it is engaged in around highway users who do not have the benefit of advanced safety protections. Since there is the potential for a much greater degree of harm to vulnerable highway users there ought to be a greater degree of deterrence to careless driving around them. This legislation will increase that deterrence by making the penalty for careless driving that results in the death of a vulnerable highway user to a fine of not more than $10,000. If the careless driving results in serious bodily injury, the fine is not more than $5,000, and if careless driving results in bodily injury, the fine is not more than $1,000.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation to help protect our vulnerable highway users.

Introduced as HB1646