Council considers safety measures

The DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold a hearing on December 8 on bills that may improve conditions for pedestrians.

Following is the list of and links to the four bills being discussed, the first three of which could impact pedestrians directly:
  • B21-0335, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act of 2015;
  • B21-0383, the Vision Zero Act of 2015;
  • B21-0021, the Enhanced Penalties for Distracted Driving Amendment Act of 2015;
  • B21-0029, the Failure to Yield for Emergency Vehicles Amendment Act of 2015

Among other topics, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act of 2015 would address:
  • crash data reporting by DDOT
  • moving infraction reporting by MPD
  • notifications about sidewalk closures
  • traffic calming requests
  • creation of pedestrian and bicycle priority areas
  • adoption of a Complete Streets policy
  • for-hire vehicle operator training
  • increasing penalties for repeat offenders of moving violations
  • creating an aggressive driving offense

The Vision Zero Act of 2015 would:
  • adopt a Complete Streets policy
  • enhance penalties for all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes
  • increase penalties for impaired driving
  • increase the fine for distracted driving from $100 to $500

The Enhanced Penalties for Distracted Driving Amendment Act of 2015 would escalate fines for multiple distracted driving offenses within 18 months from $100 to $200 to $400.

A member of the DC Pedestrian Advisory Council will testify on behalf of the PAC at the December 8 hearing. The testimony will be available on the PAC website following the hearing. See the minutes from the PAC's November 23 meeting to read about our discussion of the four bills.

The hearing on the four bills will be at 11 a.m. on December 8 at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 500. The hearing is open to the public. If you would like to comment on the bills, you may sign up to testify by contacting Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or via e-mail at Comments may also be submitted in writing.