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  • NJ A3643
  • "The Highway Worker Safety Act"; increases penalties for vehicular homicide and assault by auto of highway workers; increases fines for certain highway maintenance, construction, or incident zone violations.
Introduced
(4/14/2016)
In Committee
(4/14/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill, "The Highway Worker Safety Act," establishes increased penalties for vehicular homicide and assault by auto of highway workers, and increases fines for certain highway maintenance, construction, or incident zone violations. Under the bill, if the vehicular homicide of a highway worker occurred within a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone, as defined in the bill, the defendant is guilty of a crime of the second degree. The defendant will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and his or her driver's license will be suspended for a period of between five years and life, beginning upon completion of any prison sentence imposed upon the defendant. The bill also provides that vehicular homicide of a highway worker is a crime of the first degree if it occurred within a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone and the defendant was driving under the influence (DUI) or was driving with a license that was suspended as a result of a conviction for DUI, refusing to take a breath test, being a habitual offender, or reckless driving. The defendant would be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court, and the defendant's license would be suspended for a period of between five years and life, beginning upon completion of any term of imprisonment imposed upon the defendant. A crime of the first degree is punishable by 10 to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $200,000, or both. A crime of the second degree is punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both. The bill also upgrades the penalties for assault by auto in a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone. Under the bill, assault by auto is a crime of the second degree if serious bodily injury of a highway worker results from the defendant purposely driving the auto in an aggressive manner within a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone, and it is a crime of the third degree if bodily injury results. The bill defines "driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner in a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone" to include, but not be limited to, a motor vehicle offense enumerated in subsection b. of N.J.S.A.39:4-203.5. In addition, the bill amends N.J.S.A.39:4-92.2 to require the operator of a motor vehicle approaching a highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone to approach the zone with due caution and, absent any other direction by a law enforcement officer, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the highway construction, maintenance, or incident zone. If a lane change would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, the operator is to reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which must be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop. The bill increases the fines for violating this section from not less than $100 and not more than $500 to not less than $500 and not more than $1,000.
Law and Public Safety
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee  (on 4/14/2016)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
4/14/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified