03/14/19 -- HCS2 HB 499 -- Revokes drivers licenses of those who hit construction workers

Bill Number: 
HCS2 HB 499
Bill Purpose: 
Revokes drivers licenses of those who hit construction workers
Date of Vote: 
03/14/19
My Vote: 
Yes
Explanation: 

HCS2 HB 499, introduced by Representative Aaron Griesheimer (Republican - District 61) provides a method for the (somewhat) automatic revocation of driver's licenses of those who negligently hit construction workers in a marked construction zone.  Under this bill, if an investigative officer notifies the Department of Revenue that they have probable cause to believe that a person has negligently hit a construction worker in a marked zone, the Director of Revenue is authorized to order the revocation of that person's driver's license.  The person may seek reinstatement of their license by either re-taking and passing the driver's exam and written test, or by petitioning for a hearing before a court.

This bill was very problematic when it was first introduced.  The original bill had virtually no due process protection, and did not require anyone to demonstrate that the accident was caused due to negligence or recklessness.  It would have allowed for the automatic revocation of a person's license who had a mechanical failure or other incident outside of their control.  I was very much against the provisions in the original bill.

I expressed my concerns to the bill sponsor, as did a few others.  Notably, Representative Rudy Veit (Republican - District 59) made these points very well during the initial floor debate.

To his great credit, Representative Griesheimer was very responsive to these concerns, and decided to recommit the bill to committee to be amended prior to the final vote.  This allowed for the bill to be fixed and retooled in the House, rather than simply hope that the Senate amends it properly when it reaches their side.  I commend Representative Griesheimer for doing this, as it is always a risk recommitting a bill will result in it never making it across the finish line.  I especially respect the fact that he did this despite likely having the votes to pass it unaltered - he put making good legislation above his own pride.  I really appreciated that.

The final amended bill provided sufficient due process and other protections for me to be comfortable with it, so I was pleased to be able to vote "yes" on the final bill.