Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 980

       H.D. 2

       S.D. 1




Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Seventh State Legislature

Regular Session of 2013

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Transportation and International Affairs and Judiciary and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 980, H.D. 2, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle, with certain exceptions, and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming, and emailing, which take a driver's eyes off the road, mind off the road, and hands off the wheel.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation, Honolulu Police Department, State Highway Safety Council, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and one individual.  Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Office of the Public Defender.


     Your Committees find that the task of driving requires a driver's full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers.  Any distraction that diverts a driver's attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver's risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.


     The new federal surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (P.L. 112-141), passed by Congress in 2012, authorizes $22,500,000 in federal fiscal year 2013 and $23,100,000 in federal fiscal year 2014 to be distributed to the states that have a distracted driver state law.  Hawaii is not eligible for this funding due to the absence of a statewide distracted driving statute.  Although, enactment of this bill is redundant because all four counties already have enacted distracted driving statutes, which the federal government refuses to acknowledge.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Deleting references to suspension of license as a penalty;


     (2)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2013; and


     (3)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Transportation and International Affairs and Judiciary and Labor that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 980, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 980, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Transportation and International Affairs and Judiciary and Labor,