REPORT TITLE:
Low-Speed Vehicles


DESCRIPTION:
Regulates neighborhood electric vehicles, which are designed to
operate at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less.  Requires these
vehicles to display slow moving vehicle emblems.  (SB700 HD1)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        700
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 2
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO LOW-SPEED VEHICLES.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the National Highway
 
 2 Traffic Safety Administration, responding to a growing public
 
 3 interest in using small four-wheeled passenger vehicles to make
 
 4 short trips within retirement and other planned communities,
 
 5 issued Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 500, Low-Speed
 
 6 Vehicles (49 C.F.R. 571.500), effective June 17, 1998.  That
 
 7 standard requires the use of basic safety equipment, including
 
 8 headlamps, front and rear turn signal lamps, taillamps, stop
 
 9 lamps, reflectors, mirrors, a parking brake, windshields and
 
10 wipers, and seat belts, on "low-speed vehicles", defined as a
 
11 four-wheeled motor vehicle, other than a truck, whose maximum
 
12 speed is between twenty and twenty-five miles per hour.  The
 
13 principal vehicle in this class is the neighborhood electric
 
14 vehicle.
 
15      The purpose of this Act is to regulate neighborhood electric
 
16 vehicles in order to provide for an economical, alternative form
 
17 of transportation, as well as to improve air quality and traffic
 
18 safety and to reduce traffic congestion.
 
19      SECTION 2.  Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
20 as follows:
 

 
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 1 
 
 2      1.  By adding a new definition to section 286-2 to be
 
 3 appropriately inserted and to read:
 
 4      ""Neighborhood electric vehicle" means a self-propelled
 
 5 electrically powered motor vehicle to which all of the following
 
 6 apply:
 
 7      (1)  The vehicle is emission free;
 
 8      (2)  The vehicle is designed to carry four or fewer persons;
 
 9      (3)  The vehicle is designed to be and is operated at speeds
 
10           of twenty-five miles per hour or less;
 
11      (4)  The vehicle has at least four wheels in contact with
 
12           the ground;
 
13      (5)  The vehicle has an unladen weight of less than one
 
14           thousand eight hundred pounds; and
 
15      (6)  The vehicle conforms to the minimum safety equipment
 
16           requirements as adopted in the Federal Motor Vehicle
 
17           Safety Standard No. 500, Low Speed Vehicles (49 C.F.R.
 
18           571.500)."
 
19      2.  By amending subsection (b) of section 286-41 to read:
 
20      "(b)  Application for the registration of a vehicle shall be
 
21 made upon the appropriate form furnished by the director of
 
22 finance and shall contain the name, occupation, and address of
 
23 the owner and legal owner; and, if the applicant is a member of
 

 
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 1 the United States naval or military forces, the applicant shall
 
 2 give the organization and station.  All applications shall also
 
 3 contain a description of the vehicle, including the name of the
 
 4 maker, the type of fuel for the use of which it is adapted (e.g.,
 
 5 gasoline, diesel oil, liquefied petroleum gas), the serial or
 
 6 motor number, and the date first sold by the manufacturer or
 
 7 dealer, and such further description of the vehicle as is called
 
 8 for in the form, and such other information as may be required by
 
 9 the director of finance, to establish legal ownership.  A person
 
10 applying for initial registration of a neighborhood electric
 
11 vehicle shall certify in writing that a notice of the operational
 
12 restrictions applying to the vehicle as provided in section
 
13 291C-    are contained on a permanent notice attached to or
 
14 painted on the vehicle in a location that is in clear view of the
 
15 driver."
 
16      SECTION 3.  Chapter 291C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
17 amended as follows:
 
18      1.  By adding a new section to be appropriately designated
 
19 and to read:
 
20      "291C-    Neighborhood electric vehicles; speed;
 
21 restrictions.  (a)  A neighborhood electric vehicle shall not be
 
22 operated at a speed of more than twenty-five miles per hour.
 
23      (b)  A neighborhood electric vehicle shall not be driven on
 

 
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 1 a highway that has a posted speed limit of more than thirty-five
 
 2 miles per hour.  This subsection does not prohibit a neighborhood
 
 3 electric vehicle from crossing a highway that has a posted speed
 
 4 limit of more than thirty-five miles per hour at an intersection.
 
 5      (c)  A neighborhood electric vehicle shall have a notice of
 
 6 the operational restrictions applying to the vehicle permanently
 
 7 attached to or painted on the vehicle in a location that is in
 
 8 clear view of the driver.
 
 9      (d)  The director of transportation shall adopt rules
 
10 pursuant to chapter 91 as may be necessary to regulate the use of
 
11 neighborhood electric vehicles."
 
12      2.  By adding a new definition to section 291C-1 to be
 
13 appropriately inserted and to read:
 
14      ""Neighborhood electric vehicle" means a self-propelled
 
15 electrically powered motor vehicle to which all of the following
 
16 apply:
 
17      (1)  The vehicle is emission free;
 
18      (2)  The vehicle is designed to carry four or fewer persons;
 
19      (3)  The vehicle is designed to be and is operated at speeds
 
20           of twenty-five miles per hour or less;
 
21      (4)  The vehicle has at least four wheels in contact with
 
22           the ground;
 
23      (5)  The vehicle has an unladen weight of less than one
 

 
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 1           thousand eight hundred pounds; and
 
 2      (6)  The vehicle conforms to the minimum safety equipment
 
 3           requirements as adopted in the Federal Motor Vehicle
 
 4           Safety Standard No. 500, Low Speed Vehicles (49 C.F.R.
 
 5           571.500)."
 
 6      3.  By amending subsection (a) of section 291C-53 to read:
 
 7      "(a)  The director of transportation by rules adopted in
 
 8 accordance with chapter 91, and the counties by ordinance, may
 
 9 regulate or prohibit the use of any controlled-access roadway or
 
10 highway within their respective jurisdictions by any class or
 
11 kind of traffic which is found to be incompatible with the normal
 
12 and safe movement of traffic.  Persons operating motorcycles
 
13 which are otherwise permitted on a controlled-access roadway or
 
14 highway shall be permitted to use any high occupancy vehicle lane
 
15 designated on such roadway or highway.  For the purposes of this
 
16 subsection, "high occupancy vehicle lane" means a designated lane
 
17 of a laned roadway where the use of such designated lane is
 
18 restricted to vehicles carrying at least two persons and to other
 
19 vehicles as provided by rules adopted in accordance with chapter
 
20 91, or by county ordinance.  Notwithstanding any law to the
 
21 contrary, no person shall operate a neighborhood electric vehicle
 
22 on any controlled-access roadway or highway."
 
23      4.  By amending subsection (a) of section 291C-130 to read:
 

 
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 1      "(a)  Any vehicle, or combination of vehicles, designed to
 
 2 operate at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour or less,
 
 3 including a neighborhood electric vehicle, and traveling on a
 
 4 public highway, [shall,] except when guarded by a flagperson or a
 
 5 flare, or unless provided by ordinance, shall display a
 
 6 triangular slow moving vehicle emblem meeting ASAE Standard
 
 7 S276.2 as developed by the American Society of Agricultural
 
 8 Engineers, mounted on the rear of the vehicle, or combination of
 
 9 vehicles, base down and at a height of not less than three nor
 
10 more than five feet from the ground to base."
 
11      SECTION 4.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 
12 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
 
13 begun, before its effective date.
 
14      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
15 New statutory material is underscored.
 
16      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.