SB 642 - This act increases penalties for moving violations and traffic offenses occurring within an active emergency zone. Such a zone is defined under this act as an area that is visibly marked by emergency responders on, or around, a highway, and where an active emergency or incident removal is temporarily occurring.
Any person convicted of a first moving violation or traffic offense within an active emergency zone shall be assessed a fine of $35 in addition to any other fine authorized by law. A second or subsequent offense within an active emergency zone shall be assessed a fine of $75.
Under this act, it is a Class C misdemeanor to pass another vehicle in an active emergency zone. Those who plead guilty to, or are convicted of, a speeding or passing violation shall be assessed a fine of $250 in addition to any other fine authorized by law. A second or subsequent speeding or passing violation shall result in a $300 fine.
A person commits the offense of endangerment of an emergency responder if, while in an active emergency zone while emergency responders are present, the person:
(1) Exceeds the posted speed limit by 15 mph or more;
(2) Passes another vehicle;
(3) Fails to stop for a flagman, an emergency responder, or a traffic control signal in the active emergency zone;
(4) Drives through, or around, an active emergency zone via any lane that is not for motorists;
(5) Physically assaults, threatens, or attempts to assault an emergency responder with a motor vehicle or other instrument;
(6) Intentionally strikes or moves barrels, barriers, signs or other devices for a reason other than to avoid an obstacle, emergency, or to protect the health and safety of another person; or
(7) Commits various offenses that allow for the assessment of points under Section 302.302.
When no injury or death results, a person who pleads guilty to, or is convicted of, endangering an emergency responder shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000. If a death or injury results, the person commits aggravated endangerment of an emergency responder. The penalty for aggravated endangerment of an emergency responder is a fine of not more than $5,000 if a responder is injured, and not more than $10,000 if death resulted.
The act provides for the assessment of 4 points for endangerment of an emergency responder and 12 points for aggravated endangerment of an emergency responder.
If a person commits endangerment or aggravated endangerment of an emergency responder as a result of a vehicle's mechanical failure or the negligence of another person, then the person shall not be cited for, or convicted of, such offenses.
This section is similar to provisions contained in the truly agreed to version of HB 430 (2011), SCS/SB 260 (2011), HCS/SCS/SB 887 (2010), HCS/HB 1541 (2010), and HB 1693 (2010).