Traffic Accidents

Replaces the term traffic "accident" with the term traffic
"collision".  (HB2687 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The purpose of this Act is to amend part II of
 2 chapter 291C which relates to accidents and accident reports by
 3 replacing the term "accident" with the term "collision".
 4      The use of the current term "accident" in the traffic code
 5 implies that motor vehicle crashes are unpredictable or
 6 unpreventable events.  However, the overwhelming proportion of
 7 these crashes are the predictable or preventable result of human
 8 action or inaction.  Additionally, since the term "accident"
 9 implies a lack of intent, crashes involving intentional behavior
10 are not covered by offenses in this part which conflicts with an
11 important public policy regarding the provision of prompt
12 assistance to crash victims in order to minimize their injuries.
13 For this reason, this Act proposes to replace the term "accident"
14 with the term "collision" which denotes only that a vehicle
15 contacted or struck another object.
16      In addition, this Act deletes the requirement in section
17 291C-13 that the motor vehicle crash result only in damage to a
18 vehicle or other property.  Due to the fact that some drivers or

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 1 passengers may not report or experience pain at the time of the
 2 crash, this restriction has caused problems in charging cases.
 3 Deletion of this requirement will provide greater flexibility in
 4 charging cases where there is damage to vehicles or property.
 5      SECTION 2.  The title to part II of chapter 291C, and
 6 sections 291C-12, 291C-12.5, 291C-12.6, 291C-14, 291C-16, 291C-
 7 17, 291C-19, and 291C-20, Hawaii Revised Statutes, are amended by
 8 substituting the word "collision" or like terms, wherever the
 9 word "accident" or like terms appears, as the context requires.
10      SECTION 3.  Section 291C-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
11 amended to read as follows:
12      "[[]291C-13[]  Accidents] Collisions involving damage to
13 vehicle or property.  The driver of any vehicle involved in [an
14 accident] a collision resulting [only] in damage to a vehicle or
15 other property which is driven or attended by any person shall
16 immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the [accident]
17 collision or as close thereto as possible, but shall forthwith
18 return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the
19 [accident] collision until the driver has fulfilled the
20 requirements of section 291C-14.  Every such stop shall be made
21 without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.  Any person

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 1 failing to stop or to comply with the requirements of this
 2 section under such circumstances shall be fined not more than
 3 $100 or imprisoned not more than ten days for a first conviction;
 4 fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than twenty days,
 5 or both, for a second conviction within one year of a first
 6 conviction; and fined not more than $500 or imprisoned not more
 7 than six months, or both, for a third conviction within one year
 8 of a first conviction."
 9      SECTION 4.  Section 291C-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
10 amended to read as follows:
11      "[[]291C-15[]]  Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or
12 other property.  The driver of any vehicle which [collides with
13 or] is involved in [an accident] a collision with any vehicle or
14 other property which is unattended resulting in any damage to the
15 other vehicle or property shall immediately stop and shall then
16 and there either locate and notify the operator or owner of such
17 vehicle or other property of the driver's name, address, and the
18 registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving or shall
19 attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle or
20 other property a written notice giving the driver's name,
21 address, and the registration number of the vehicle the driver is
22 driving and shall without unnecessary delay notify the nearest

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 1 police office.  Every such stop shall be made without obstructing
 2 traffic more than is necessary."
 3      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 4 New statutory material is underscored.
 5      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.