Establishes a motor vehicle violation that prohibits leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle. Allows law enforcement or reserve personnel to remove child, and provides exemption from civil liability. Requires the examiner of drivers to test driver's license applicants for knowledge of this offense. Requires rental car companies to place a notice in rental vehicles informing lessee of prohibition against leaving child unsupervised in a motor vehicle. (SD1)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO CHILD ENDANGERMENT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Chapter 291, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§291‑ Leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle. (a) Notwithstanding chapter 571 or any other law to the contrary, a person commits the offense of leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle if the person, whether or not charged with the care or custody of a child, recklessly leaves a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle.
(b) Any law enforcement officer, firefighter, or rescue team personnel who observes a child left unsupervised in a motor vehicle and determines that the unsupervised child is in physical danger, or poses a danger to others, may use whatever means are reasonably necessary to protect the child or others and remove the child from the motor vehicle. If the person who left the unsupervised child in the motor vehicle cannot be located within a reasonable time, the law enforcement officer, firefighter, or rescue team personnel, upon removing the child from the motor vehicle, shall immediately report the matter to a police officer as defined under section 587-2 who may assume protective custody of the child without a court order and without the consent of the child's family.
(c) Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and rescue team personnel shall not be liable in any civil action to any party for any act performed in good faith under this section.
(d) Leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle is a violation for which there shall be absolute liability as provided in section 702‑212 and subject to the following penalties:
(1) Not more than $200 for a first conviction thereof;
(2) Not more than $300 for conviction of a second offense committed within one year after the date of the first offense; and
(3) Not more than $500 for conviction of a third or subsequent offense committed within one year after the date of the first offense.
(e) As used in this section:
"Child" means a person under the age of nine.
"Rescue team personnel" means physicians, basic life support personnel, advanced life support personnel, surgeons, nurses, volunteers, or employees of the owners or operators of a hospital or authorized emergency vehicle who have been trained in basic or advanced life support and have been charged by the owners or operators of the hospital or authorized emergency vehicle with providing life support and resuscitation to persons who are in immediate danger of loss of life in cases of emergency.
"Unsupervised" means leaving a child in a motor vehicle:
(1) Alone in the vehicle; or
(2) With a minor under the age of fifteen."
SECTION 2. Section 286‑108, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) Except as provided in section 286‑107.5(a), the examiner of drivers shall examine every applicant for a driver's license, except as otherwise provided in this part. The examination shall include a test of:
(1) The applicant's eyesight and any further physical examination that the examiner of drivers finds necessary to determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways;
(2) The applicant's ability to understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic;
(3) The applicant's knowledge of the rules of the road based on the traffic laws of the State and the traffic ordinances of the county where the applicant resides or intends to operate a motor vehicle; provided that the examination shall specifically test the applicant's knowledge of the provisions of section 291- ; and
(4) The actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle.
The examinations shall be appropriate to the operation of the category of motor vehicle for which the applicant seeks to be licensed and shall be conducted as required by the director.
The examiner of drivers shall require every applicant to comply with section 286-102.5.
The examiner of drivers may waive the actual demonstration of ability to operate a motorcycle or motor scooter for any person who furnishes evidence, to the satisfaction of the examiner of drivers, that the person has completed the motorcycle education course approved by the director in accordance with section 431:10G‑104.
At the time of examination, an application for voter registration by mail shall be made available to every applicant for a driver's license.
For the purposes of this section, the term "applicant" does not include any person reactivating a license under section 286‑107.5(a)."
SECTION 3. Section 437D-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending its title and subsection (a) to read as follows:
"§437D-13 Notice and posting required
seat belt, child passenger restraint, and operating a
vehicle under the influence] motor vehicle laws. (a)
Every lessor shall display at all times in a conspicuous place in each rental
motor vehicle offered to the public, a decal, written in plain language and in
no less than ten-point type, that informs the lessee of:
(1) Hawaii's seat belt and child passenger restraint
laws, and the prohibition against operating a vehicle under the
influence of an intoxicant[
;] and leaving a child unsupervised in a
motor vehicle; and
(2) The existence and location of additional
information concerning the laws relating to seat belts, child passenger
and] operating a vehicle under the influence of an
intoxicant[ .], and leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle.
The requirements and penalties of Hawaii's seat belt laws and child passenger restraint laws, as provided in sections 291-11.5 and 291-11.6, and the prohibition against and penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, as provided in section 291E-61, shall be printed on a card which shall be placed in the glove compartment of every rental motor vehicle offered to the public."
SECTION 4. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2070.