By Wendy Osher
The State Senate is considering a bill that requires motorists to take precautions when approaching stopped emergency vehicles.
Senate Bill 2663 was introduced by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz in the wake of recent traffic fatalities involving Honolulu police officers Garret Davis, and Eric Fontes.
“We have lost two Honolulu Police officers while in the line of duty over the past four months. We must enact laws that further protects and ensures the safety of our emergency responders,” said Sen. Dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz represents District 22, encompassing Mililani Mauka, Wahiawa, Whitmore, Hale‘iwa, Mokule‘ia, Waialua, Sunset Beach, Pupukea.
The most recent accident occurred earlier this month, and claimed the life of Officer Davis, who was stationed in Wahiawa. Davis had pulled over in the shoulder lane to help a stalled vehicle when his car burst into flames after being rear-ended by another motorist.
The bill, if approved, would require approaching drivers to slow down and make a lane change to an adjacent lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle. Violations would be considered a misdemeanor offense if convicted.
If the violation results in fatality, the driver could face up charges of negligent homicide in the first degree.
The item has advanced to respective senate committees for further review.