Back to legislation in Council period 14
|Chairman Linda W. Cropp
Councilmember Kathy Patterson
Councilmember Sandra (Sandy) Allen
Councilmember Harold Brazil
Councilmember Carol Schwartz
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Chairman Linda W. Cropp, Councilmembers Kathy Patterson, Harold Brazil, Sandra (Sandy) Allen, and Carol Schwartz introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on Public Works and the Environment.
To enhance driving safety by restricting the use of hand-held telephones by operators of moving motor vehicles, by requiring the Metropolitan Police Department to include on motor vehicle accident reports information about the possible use of hand-held telephones by drivers involved in the accident, by requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to publish statistics regarding the relationship between motor vehicle accidents and the use of mobile telephones, and by increasing public dialogue and education about distracted driving.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Mobile Telephone Driving Safety Act of 2001 ".
Sec. 2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this act, the term:
(1) "Hands-free device" means an attachment, add-on, or addition to a mobile telephone, whether or not permanently installed in a motor vehicle, that when used allows the vehicle operator to maintain both hands on the steering wheel.
(2) "Mobile telephone" means a cellular, analog, wireless, or digital telephone capable of sending or receiving telephone messages without an access line for service.
(3) "Use" means talking, placing or receiving a call, or attempting to place or receive a call on a mobile telephone.
Sec. 3. Restricted use of mobile telephone.
(a) No person shall use a mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle in the District of Columbia unless the telephone is equipped with a hands-free device.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following:
(1) Emergency use of a mobile telephone, including calls to 911 or 311, a hospital, a health clinic, a doctor's office, an ambulance service provider, a fire department, a law enforcement agency, or a first aid squad; and
(2) Use of a mobile telephone by law enforcement and safety personnel, or by a driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, acting within the scope of official duties.
(3) Dialing a telephone number, entering information necessary to initiate communications, hanging up the telephone, or turning the telephone on or off.
Sec. 4. Enforcement.
(a) The penalty for violating the provisions of section 3 shall be a fine of $100.
(b) A violation of the provisions of section 3 shall be processed and adjudicated under the provisions applicable to moving violations set forth in Title II of the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978, effective September 12, 1978 (D.C. Law 2-104; D.C. Code §40-611 et seq.).
Sec. 5. Rules.
The Mayor, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1203; D.C. Code § 1-1501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this act.
Sec. 6. Police officer's report.
Whenever the Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD") makes a written report on an accident involving a motor vehicle, the report shall include information on whether a mobile telephone was present in the motor vehicle and whether the use of a mobile telephone by a motor vehicle operator may have contributed to the cause of the accident. The MPD shall provide a copy of each accident report to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Sec. 7. Publication of statistics.
The Department of Motor Vehicles shall annually publish statistics regarding the possible relationship between motor vehicle accidents in the District of Columbia and the use of mobile telephones by motor vehicle operators.
Sec. 8. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233 (c)(3)).
Sec. 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of a veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203 (a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code §47-392.3(a)), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1-233(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.
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