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8137F233C8909409872583C1006F40D8 Hearing Summary


Date Mar 18, 2019      
Location SCR 352

SB19-175 - Lay Over

02:20:27 PM  

Senator Foote, sponsor, explained SB19-175 concerning penalties imposed on the driver of a motor vehicle who causes serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user.   Senator Foote discussed the increasing number of incidents between vehicles and vulnerable road users, meaning those who are not in a car (i.e. cyclists, pedestrians, etc.).  He explained the current penalties for vehicle drivers in these cases is the same as a speeding violation, and the bill seeks to put the offense in a better context.  He further discussed how the bill would impose a 12 point license violation and suspension of a driver license.  Senator Foote likened it to an increased fine in a school or construction zone. 

Committee members asked questions about determining a penalty not on the conduct per se but on the outcome.   Careless and reckless driving was also discussed. 


02:31:52 PM  

Douglas Howey, representing the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, spoke in support of the bill. He relayed a personal account of being struck by a car while in his wheelchair and how the driver only got one point taken off his or her license. 

Chris Hinds, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He told the committee how he has been run over two times, once on foot and once in a wheelchair.  He relayed how the driver's ticket was dismissed in the second case.  He stressed the need for accountability and commensurate penalties. 

02:44:57 PM  

Kelly Ashton, representing Cycle Colorado, spoke in support of the bill.  She told the committee about her son,  who while on his motorcycle, was struck by a car trying to beat a yellow light.  She expressed concern that a four point license violation is not a sufficient penalty for seriously injuring another person. 

Marissa Ashton, representing Cycle Colorado, spoke in favor of the measure.  She recapped the same incident as her mother, the previous witness, and the need for accountability. 

Jordan Ashton, representing Cycle Colorado, testified in support of the bill.  As the victim of the motorcycle accident described by the previous witnesses, he stressed the need for a law that better penalizes drivers who cause serious bodily injury. 

02:58:02 PM  

Jack Todd, representing Bicycle Colorado, testified in support of  the bill. He cited Colorado Department of Transportation statistics about careless driving. 

03:01:00 PM  

Skyler McKinley, representing AAA Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. He stated that fatalities of vulnerable road users are on the rise and that everyone is a vulnerable road user at some point. 

03:04:10 PM  

Jill Locantore, representing Walk Denver, testified in favor of the bill.  She noted that nine other states have similar laws.   

Tony Milo, representing the Colorado Contractors Association, spoke in support of the bill. He discussed construction workers and the need to educate motorists about driving safely.  He used the example of National Workzone Safety Week as an educational opportunity.

The committee discussed the relationship between the bill and reducing accidents, regulating behavior, and educating drivers. 


03:12:56 PM  

Adelaide Perri, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill, She relayed a personal experience of being hit while riding a bicycle and how little importance was given to her situation.

03:17:47 PM  

Ken Andrews, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill. He relayed a personal story about being hit by a car while on his bicycle. 

03:21:43 PM  

Dave Kemp, representing the City of Boulder, testified in favor of the bill. He discussed the Safe Street Boulder: Vision Zero program and the need to get the safe driving message out through educational outreach. 

03:26:11 PM  

Ben Mitchell, representing the Division of Motor Vehicles, answered questions from the committee about 12 point offenses, aggravating and mitigating factors for provisional licenses, and educational outreach. 

03:32:08 PM  

Triny Willerton, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill.

03:34:15 PM  

She discussed getting hit from behind while on her bike and the need to make roads safer. 

03:36:42 PM  

Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, spoke in opposition to the bill.  She noted concerns that the bill imposes disproprotional penalties and does not mirror approximate cause language in related careless driving provisions.  She also brought up points about the mandatory year-long suspension proposed in the bill as being overly harsh.  She further discussed current penalties for careless driving with and without injuries and the "Move Over for Cody Act," which raises potential jail and financial penalties for drivers who fail to move over for emergency responders. 

Committee members asked questions about restitution and mens rea.   Committee discussion followed about approximate cause and injuries and the natural and probable sequence of events in traffic accidents.   

Maureen Cain, representing the Office of the State Public Defender, testified in opposition to the bill.  She expressed concerns about the one year license suspension as being too long of a time period, as welll as the narrow scope of the bill.



04:02:53 PM  

Discussion followed regarding provisional licenses, generally, and reckless versus careless driving. 

04:12:46 PM  

Senator Foote introduced and presented amendment L. 001 (Attachment B)  regarding a probationary driver's license.  Committee members expressed concerns that the amendment gives the Department of Revenue too much discretion. 




04:17:25 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Lee
Cooke No
Gardner No
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales No
Lee No
YES: 1   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  FAIL
04:17:26 PM  

Senator Foote made closing remarks. 

Senator Lee laid the bill over to discuss amendments to broaden the provisional license section. 

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