Harris Bill For Increased Negligent Driving Penalties Passes

A bill authored by Washington 17th District State Rep. Paul Harris designed to hold negligent drivers to greater accountability was unanimously passed by the Senate.  House Bill 1112 would allow judges, at their discretion, to impose criminal penalties for negligent driving involving the death of a vulnerable victim. It would also create a gross misdemeanor offense of negligent driving with a vulnerable victim in the first degree.  HB 1112 would allow for a person to be found guilty of an offense when he or she operates a vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers, or is likely to endanger, any person or property and causes the death of someone using a public way.  The offense would be punishable by up to 364 days of imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, which may not be reduced below $1,000, and suspension of driving privileges for 90 days.  Because the Senate amended HB 1112, the House must approve the changes before it heads to the governor’s desk.

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