ASSEMBLY TRANSPORTATION AND INDEPENDENT AUTHORITIES COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 4062

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  JANUARY 19, 2017

 

      The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 4062.

      As amended and reported, this bill is designated as “Eileen’s Law” and provides that proof that a defendant failed to maintain a lane may give rise to an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly.

      Under existing law, vehicular homicide is a crime of the second degree, with limited exceptions.

     Under the bill, vehicular homicide is a crime of the third degree if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant did not commit any conduct constituting driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly other than failing to maintain a lane.  A crime of the third degree is punishable by imprisonment of three to five years, a maximum fine of $15,000, or both.  

     The bill is named for Eileen Marmino who was killed after being struck by a motorist who veered into the bike lane in which she was riding.

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

      The committee amended the bill to:

·         designate the bill as “Eileen’s Law”;

·         remove a provision of the bill providing that the inference that the defendant was driving recklessly due to failure to maintain a lane is at the discretion of the prosecutor;

·         remove the requirement that a defendant engage in distracted driving in order for the defendant’s failure to maintain a lane to give rise to an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly;

·         provide that vehicular homicide is a crime of the third degree if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant did not commit any conduct constituting driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly other than failing to maintain a lane;

·         change the synopsis to clarify that the bill establishes that failure to maintain a lane may constitute recklessness under the vehicular homicide statute; and

·         make certain grammatical corrections and technical corrections to statutory references in the bill.