Driver Licensing; Minors; Night Driving
Requires all drivers under age eighteen to be accompanied by a licensed driver over age twenty-one when driving between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., subject to exceptions. (SD1)
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER LICENSING.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the number and severity of accidents occurring on our State's highways have increased in recent years. While many automobile accidents are caused by inclement weather conditions, or by inexperienced or inattentive drivers, many more are caused by persons driving while impaired and by drivers engaging in dangerous activities such as racing on public roadways.
Excessive speed is one of the primary causes of major automobile accidents in the State, and speed-related accidents are increasing sharply. On Oahu alone, thirty-seven per cent of all fatal crashes in 2002 were related to speeding, and in the first ten months of 2003, over eighty per cent of all fatal crashes were speed-related.
Young drivers are particularly vulnerable to poor driving habits, due to their relative immaturity and inexperience behind the wheel. In April 2001, three Mililani residents were killed when their vehicle crossed the center line and was struck by oncoming traffic in Waialua. One of the boys killed that day, Andrew Delos Reyes, age seventeen, was planning to go to college on a wrestling scholarship. Andrew, a fierce young competitor, was a wrestler who won the Oahu Interscholastic Association championship in his weight class and finished second in the Data House State Wrestling Championships shortly before his untimely death. The legislature sees Andrew as another in a string of tragic and heartbreaking examples, where a fine young person had his life cut short due to a momentary lapse of judgment.
The particular stretch of road on which the boys were killed had claimed four lives in 2001 prior to that accident. The police investigating the accident found evidence that the boys had been speeding and had consumed alcohol, which likely led to their accident.
The legislature finds that although teens are granted the right to drive alone at age sixteen, there must be further oversight of the driving habits of young drivers, particularly at night, when young drivers are apt to engage in risky driving behavior.
The purpose of this Act is to require that all drivers under age eighteen are accompanied by an adult when driving at night.
SECTION 2. Chapter 286, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§286- Night driving provisions for licensed drivers under eighteen years of age. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whenever driving between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., a person who is under eighteen years of age and who has been granted a license or temporary instruction permit pursuant to section 286-108, 286-109, or 286-110 shall be accompanied in the motor vehicle at all times by another person who is at least twenty-one years of age and who is licensed to operate the category of motor vehicle that is being operated.
(b) A person with a license who is under eighteen years of age may drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., or transport an immediate family member without being accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver who is at least twenty-one years of age, in the following circumstances:
(1) To attend school or school-authorized activities, when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by the person is necessary as verified in a signed statement from a parent or legal guardian that shall be kept in the person's possession while operating the vehicle;
(2) For employment purposes, when reasonable transportation facilities are inadequate and operation of a vehicle by the person is necessary as verified in a signed statement from the employer that shall be kept in the person's possession while operating the vehicle; or
(3) Where the person is an emancipated minor;
provided that a person holding only a temporary instruction permit shall comply with section 286-110.
The signed statement required pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall contain the current names and phone numbers of the parents, legal guardian, or employment supervisor of the licensed driver, as applicable. The driver shall produce the signed statement upon request by a law enforcement officer to verify compliance with this section.
(c) If a person who is under eighteen years of age:
(1) Fails to meet the requirements of subsection (a) or (b); or
(2) Receives an adverse adjudication for an offense governing the operation of a motor vehicle,
the person's license or temporary instruction permit shall be suspended or revoked by a judge having jurisdiction over the person.
(d) If suspension or revocation of a license or temporary instruction permit occurs under subsection (c), the person shall not be eligible to operate a motor vehicle on the highway through either reissuance of a license or temporary instruction permit or issuance of a driver's license or temporary instruction permit, until the latest of the following:
(1) The person is seventeen and one-half years of age;
(2) At least six months have elapsed since the date of the completion of the suspension of the license or temporary instruction permit; or
(3) The date of reinstatement of the suspended or revoked license or temporary instruction permit pursuant to court order or section 286-104 or 286-110."
SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2005.