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Miller’s Bill to Enact Stronger Penalties on Careless Drivers Earns House Support
10/17/2017
HARRISBURG – Legislation to strengthen penalties for careless drivers who kill or injure a vulnerable highway user, introduced by Rep. Brett Miller (R-Lancaster), passed with bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week.

Specifically, the bill defines a vulnerable highway user as a pedestrian, a bicycle or motorcycle rider, a farm vehicle operator, an animal drawn vehicle driver (such as a horse and buggy), or similar user who travels while not encased in a motor vehicle.

“Pennsylvania’s highways have a high percentage of users who are not riding in vehicles that serve as steel cages with air bags and seat belts,” Miller said. “When these people are hit by a careless driver who is operating what is essentially a 4,000 pound projectile, we’ve all seen reports of the horrific tragedies that can result.”

Along with providing definition for this class of drivers, House Bill 1646 adds stronger penalties for careless driving that results in death or bodily injury of a vulnerable highway user. These penalties include suspension of driving privileges and/or fines.

Current law does not delineate penalties for careless driving around highway users who don’t have the benefit of safety protections inside a vehicle.

“Careless driving should be avoided in all circumstances,” Miller said. “But since careless driving can cause a significantly higher degree of harm to vulnerable highway users, I believe stronger penalties can and will provide a greater level of deterrence to prevent these type of tragic accidents from happening.”

House Bill 1646 now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Brett Miller
41st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Diane Moore
717.772.9844
dmoore@pahousegop.com
RepMiller.com / Facebook.com/RepMiller

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