Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 17

03/01/2011 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 22 NO CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 35 BAN CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
*+ HB 68 BAN CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
*+ HB 128 BAN CELL PHONE USE BY MINORS WHEN DRIVING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 1, 2011                                                                                          
                           1:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Lance Pruitt, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz                                                                                             
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
Representative Pete Petersen                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Eric Feige                                                                                                       
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 22                                                                                                               
"An Act prohibiting the use of a cellular telephone when driving                                                                
a motor vehicle; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 128                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to prohibiting the use of cellular telephones                                                                  
by minors when driving motor vehicles; and providing for an                                                                     
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 35                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to prohibiting the use of cellular telephones                                                                  
when driving a motor vehicle; and providing for an effective                                                                    
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 68                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to prohibiting the use of cellular telephones                                                                  
when driving a motor vehicle."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 22                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: NO CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) MUNOZ, HERRON                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/7/11                                                                                
01/18/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/18/11       (H)       TRA, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
03/01/11       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 128                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: BAN CELL PHONE USE BY MINORS WHEN DRIVING                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GARDNER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/28/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/28/11       (H)       TRA, JUD                                                                                               
03/01/11       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA KLOSTER, Staff                                                                                                           
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  presented HB 22, on behalf of one the joint                                                              
prime sponsors, Representative Cathy Munoz.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CINDY   CASHEN,   Governor's   Highway   Safety   Representative;                                                               
Administrator, Alaska Highway Safety Office (AHSO)                                                                              
Division of Program Development                                                                                                 
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the discussion on                                                              
HB 22 and HB 128.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
RANDI SPRAY, Intern                                                                                                             
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during the                                                              
discussion of HB 128.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ALFRED MCKINLEY, SR., Executive Committee Member                                                                                
Grand Camp Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood                                                                   
(ANB)                                                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 22.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JERRY LUCKHAUPT, Assistant Revisor of Statutes                                                                                  
Legislative Legal Counsel                                                                                                       
Legislative Legal and Research Services                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs Agency (LAA)                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
discussion of HB 22.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HANS BRINKE, Captain; Commander                                                                                                 
Bureau of Highway Patrol (BHP), Alaska State Trooper (AST)                                                                      
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
discussion of HB 22.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                      
Legal Services Section                                                                                                          
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law (DOL)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
discussion of HB 22.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MITCH FALK, Owner                                                                                                               
Bullwinkle's Pizza                                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 22.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY DIAL, Lieutenant, Deputy Commander                                                                                       
A Detachment, Division of Alaska State Troopers                                                                                 
Department of Public Safety (DPS)                                                                                               
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and  answered questions during the                                                             
discussion of on HB 22.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:05:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PEGGY  WILSON  called the  House  Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order at  1:05  p.m.  Representatives  P.                                                               
Wilson, Munoz,  Pruitt, Gruenberg,  and Petersen were  present at                                                               
the call to order.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
              HB 22-NO CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
1:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON announced that  the first order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 22, "An Act prohibiting the  use of a cellular                                                               
telephone  when driving  a motor  vehicle; and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:07:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON explained that  on today's committee calendar are                                                               
four  bills all  related  to  cell phones.    She indicated  that                                                               
Representative  Doogan has  declined to  present his  bill today.                                                               
She  read  his  letter  into  the  record  [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     I  understand the  House  Transportation Committee  you                                                                    
     chair will  be taking up  the issues of cell  phone use                                                                    
     while driving  on March 1,  2011.  It was  also brought                                                                    
     to  my  attention  that  you offered  to  look  at  the                                                                    
     several  cell phone  related bills  at  the same  time,                                                                    
     though Rep.  Munoz' HB  22 will  be the  likely vehicle                                                                    
     moving forward.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I appreciate the  opportunity to present my  own HB 35,                                                                    
     but, in  the interest  of time  and efficiency,  I will                                                                    
     respectfully  decline  to do  so.    I would  urge  the                                                                    
     committee to consider  some of the merits of  HB 35, as                                                                    
     it  deliberates on  this important  safety issue.   The                                                                    
     different between  the two  bills is  that HB  22 makes                                                                    
     and exception  for hands-fee cell  phone use,  while my                                                                    
     bill does not.  Studies  have shown the hands-free cell                                                                    
     use  is not  significantly less  distracting, and  that                                                                    
     driving  ability is  still impaired.   It  is different                                                                    
     than  talking to  a passenger  in the  car, because  it                                                                    
     requirement  different  thought   processes,  and  also                                                                    
     because   passengers  are   aware   of  changing   road                                                                    
     conditions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Again,  I thank  you  for the  opportunity to  present,                                                                    
     though I  respectfully decline, and hope  the committee                                                                    
     will pass a bill that best provides for safe roadways.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:08:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON related that the  committee would not hear HB 35,                                                               
but would consider  provisions in the bill, along  with the other                                                               
cell  phone  bills,  and the  national  studies  which  highlight                                                               
research and statistics for the committee to consider.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:09:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  explained  that  last  legislature  he                                                               
introduced a  cell phone bill  which did not institute  a primary                                                               
stop.   He related that he  reintroduced the cell phone  bill, HB                                                               
68, this  legislature. He asked  to place  on the record  that he                                                               
does not plan to move forward with HB 68.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  then  moved   to  adopt  the  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for   HB  22,  labeled  27-LS0155\B,                                                               
Luckhaupt,  2/24/11 as  the  working document.    There being  no                                                               
objection, Version B was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:11:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ introduced  Kendra  Kloster,  her chief  of                                                               
staff, to present the committee substitute.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA KLOSTER,  Staff, Representative Cathy Munoz,  on behalf of                                                               
one of  the joint prime  sponsors, stated the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for  HB 22 would prohibit the use  of cell phones                                                               
while  driving a  motor vehicle.   This  bill version  allows for                                                               
hands-free devices  to be used to  accommodate commercial drivers                                                               
and tour operators.   The changes in the CS  include a definition                                                               
for  "emergency"   and  "hands-free  mode."     Additionally,  as                                                               
Representative Gruenberg  mentioned, the CS includes  a provision                                                               
that  identifies  cell phone  use  as  a  primary offense.    She                                                               
referred  to  several studies  in  members  packets.   One  study                                                               
conducted by  the University of  Utah found motorists  using cell                                                               
phones are as impaired as  drunk drivers.  Additionally, the AHSO                                                               
indicates that 60  percent of Alaskans are talking  on their cell                                                               
phones while driving.  She  reported, anecdotally, that her peers                                                               
agree they  often use  their cell phones  while driving  but they                                                               
recognize this activity needs to be stopped.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:13:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KLOSTER  referred  to another  report  in  members'  packets                                                               
[Legislature Research  Report, January 26, 2011,  "Laws Regarding                                                               
Cellular  Phone Use  by Drivers"]  which  compares actions  other                                                               
states have taken.   She reported that 9 states  and the District                                                               
of Columbia have imposed statewide  bans on using cell phones, 19                                                               
states and the District of Columbia  prohibit use of a cell phone                                                               
while  operating a  school bus,  28  states and  the District  of                                                               
Columbia prohibit  novice drivers -  usually defined as  18 years                                                               
old or younger - from  using cell phones when operating vehicles,                                                               
and 30 states  - including Alaska - and the  District of Columbia                                                               
ban drivers from  texting while driving.  She  also reported that                                                               
the  National  Highway   Traffic  Safety  Administration  (NHTSA)                                                               
provided statistics,  including that in  2009, 995 deaths  and 20                                                               
percent of  crashes involving injuries had  reports of distracted                                                               
driving from cell phone usage.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:14:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG pointed  out  that at  his request  the                                                               
effective  date of  July 1,  2011 was  removed from  the CS.   He                                                               
asked whether the administration would  like an effective date in                                                               
the bill and if so what date should be used.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON informed members  the Department of Law  and the                                                               
Department of Public Safety have each submitted fiscal notes.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CINDY   CASHEN,   Governor's   Highway   Safety   Representative;                                                               
Administrator, Alaska  Highway Safety Office (AHSO),  Division of                                                               
Program Development,  explained the Alaska Highway  Safety Office                                                               
(AHSO)  administers  federal  funding  to  data-driven  effective                                                               
programs that  encourage safe driving  behavior.  She  stated the                                                               
National Highway  Traffic Safety Administration's  (NHTSA) policy                                                               
on cellular phone use on driving  is based on the premise that it                                                               
is  the  driver's  primary  responsibility  to  operate  a  motor                                                               
vehicle safely.  The task  of driving requires full attention and                                                               
focus and  since cell phone use  can distract a driver  from this                                                               
task,  risking harm  to  his/her  self and  to  others, that  the                                                               
safest course  of action is  to refrain  from using a  cell phone                                                               
while driving. The NHTSA research  shows that driving while using                                                               
a cell  phone can  pose a serious  cognitive distraction  and can                                                               
degrade  driver performance.   Additionally  the NHTSA  estimates                                                               
that  driver  distraction  from all  sources  contributes  to  25                                                               
percent of  all police reported  traffic crashes.  Ten  years ago                                                               
that statistic was  only 15 percent so the  number is increasing,                                                               
she stated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:17:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN reported  that according to NHTSA  data, drivers using                                                               
hand-held cell phones increased from  four percent in 2002 to six                                                               
percent  in  2008.   The  Governor's  Highway Safety  Association                                                               
reported  that drivers  visibly  manipulating electronic  devices                                                               
for such activities such as  texting doubled, increasing from .04                                                               
percent to  one percent.   The NHTSA  study also  indicated, with                                                               
respect  to  hands-free  or  hand-held   cell  phones,  that  the                                                               
cognitive  distraction   is  significant  enough  to   degrade  a                                                               
driver's performance.   Cell phone use can cause  drivers to miss                                                               
seeing  key visual  or hearing  audio cues  necessary to  avoid a                                                               
crash.    The  results  show   that  manual  dialing  equally  as                                                               
distracting  as grooming  or eating,  but  less distracting  than                                                               
reading or  changing music  compact discs (CDs).   The  number of                                                               
crashes  attributable  to  dialing  is nearly  identical  to  the                                                               
number  of  crashes associated  with  talking  or listening,  she                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:18:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN  offered additional statistics.   The NHTSA statistics                                                               
show that in  2009, 30,797 crashes in the  United States involved                                                               
45,230 drivers  with 33,808  fatalities.   Of the  fatalities, 16                                                               
percent,   or  5,474   accidents,  were   attributed  to   driver                                                               
distraction.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN  related that  accidents involving  driver distraction                                                               
increased from 7  percent in 2005 to 16 percent  in 2009.  During                                                               
that time,  according to the  Fatality Analysis  Reporting System                                                               
(FARS)  and  the  National  Automotive  Sampling,  fatal  crashes                                                               
involving  reported driver  distraction  also  increased from  10                                                               
percent to 16 percent.   The two highest percentages of accidents                                                               
involving distracted drivers  by age group were  the under-20 age                                                               
group, which  had the highest proportion  of fatalities involving                                                               
distracted drivers at 16 percent,  followed by the 20-29 year-old                                                               
drivers with  13 percent  of its  drivers involved  in fatalities                                                               
involving distractions.  Only 12  percent of light  truck drivers                                                               
and  motorcyclists were  involved  in  accidents attributable  to                                                               
distracted driving, and bus drivers  had the lowest percentage of                                                               
distracted driving crashes, she stated.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN prefaced  her comments  on Alaska's  traffic accident                                                               
statistics involving cell  phone use.  She stated  that while the                                                               
numbers  are low,  this is  primarily due  to the  accident forms                                                               
that law  enforcement officers currently  use.  The  crash report                                                               
form  limits the  contributing factors  to crashes  that officers                                                               
can check to two items, such  as failure to yield, missing a stop                                                               
sign, and running  into the back of a car.   She informed members                                                               
that currently  a subcommittee  is working  to address  the crash                                                               
form  issues  by adding  additional  items  such as  cell  phone,                                                               
hands-free, and texting as contributing factors for crashes.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:20:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN   reviewed  Alaska   statistics  obtained   from  law                                                               
enforcement officer report forms.  During  2002 - 2008 a total of                                                               
89,770  motor  vehicle accidents  occurred  during  the six  year                                                               
period.  Of those crashes,  law enforcement officers reported 399                                                               
involved cell phone  usage, 224 crashes involving  cell phone use                                                               
resulted in property  damage only, 155 crashes  resulted in minor                                                               
injuries, 19  crashes resulted in  major injuries, and  one crash                                                               
was  fatal.   She stressed  that the  figures were  based on  law                                                               
enforcement officer's crash report  information, which only allow                                                               
two contributing  factors to  be checked.   She pointed  out that                                                               
142 of  the crashes involved  drivers between the ages  of 16-20,                                                               
or 36  percent, which  represents a  significant number  of young                                                               
people.  She  indicated that although the state  has limited cell                                                               
phone  use  data  available, the  national  data  was  compelling                                                               
enough for the  AHSO to take action.  The  AHSO created radio and                                                               
television   advertising  using   federal  funds   to  discourage                                                               
distracted driving including the use of cell phones.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:22:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   PRUITT  asked   whether   any  information   was                                                               
available  on accidents  caused by  distracted drivers  using the                                                               
radio.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN offered  to  check.   She  said  she  did recall  any                                                               
general crash information involving radio use.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:23:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  recalled that  officers are limited  in the                                                               
criteria identifying causes of  accidents when reporting crashes.                                                               
She asked  how broadening  the criteria to  add cell  phone usage                                                               
would change information and if she  thought it would give a more                                                               
accurate view on crashes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN offered  her belief that the  department could collect                                                               
far more  extensive data  about cell  phone use  in Alaska.   She                                                               
acknowledged  the difficulty  in  obtaining accurate  information                                                               
based on  the current crash  form.   The department's goal  is to                                                               
increase data collection while at  the same time making it easier                                                               
for law enforcement officers to fill out the crash forms.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ related  her  understanding that  currently                                                               
the  department  knows  that  cell phone  use  is  implicated  in                                                               
accidents  and can  lead to  fatalities.   She asked  whether she                                                               
thought  more thorough  information would  indicate significantly                                                               
more  accidents  are  due  to  cell  phone  use  than  previously                                                               
reported.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON commended the  department for working  to change                                                               
the crash form.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN agreed.   He  pointed out  some vehicles                                                               
have a  navigation device  that uses  a computer  generated voice                                                               
for directions.  He asked  whether studies have been performed to                                                               
assess  the level  of distraction  when using  these enhancements                                                               
with respect  to crashes.   He  related his  own experience  as a                                                               
passenger  and  that  he  found   the  navigation  device  rather                                                               
jarring.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN answered that the  navigation technology is relatively                                                               
new  technology so  she  did not  believe  those statistics  were                                                               
included  in the  NHTSA  study.   She said  "a  distraction is  a                                                               
distraction but I don't believe it  was one that was looked at in                                                               
the  study."   She offered  to research  and report  back to  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:26:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON recalled that  verbal processes use  a cognitive                                                               
process that can  affect drivers differently than  listening to a                                                               
radio.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN reiterated  her offer  to research  this issue.   She                                                               
recalled that putting  on makeup, looking in  the rearview mirror                                                               
and listening  to music or  a radio comprise different  levels of                                                               
distraction.   She  also  recalled  a table  in  the NHTSA  study                                                               
compares the  levels of distraction.   She offered to  review the                                                               
table for the committee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  referred to page  1, line 5, of  HB 22,                                                               
and related his understanding that  language prohibits cell phone                                                               
use while  driving when  the vehicle  is in  motion but  does not                                                               
apply to a driver using a  cell phone when he/she has just turned                                                               
on the radio.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN said she was not certain.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  further related his  understanding that                                                               
the use of the term "driving"  is a technical term which does not                                                               
mean  just turning  on the  car  to run  a  heater.   There is  a                                                               
distinction  between "driving"  and "operating  a vehicle"  which                                                               
requires  the process  of moving.   He  said he  would like  this                                                               
distinction to be clear on the record.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  asked   for  further  clarification  on                                                               
whether it would be legal for a  person to use a cell phone while                                                               
the vehicle is running so long as the vehicle is not in motion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered his belief  a body of law exists                                                               
that  pertains   to  driving  under  the   influence  (DUI)  that                                                               
addresses  this issue.   He  recalled the  DUI provisions  do not                                                               
apply and it  would not be a  violation of the law  when a person                                                               
is  parked   alongside  the  roadway   using  the  heater.     He                                                               
acknowledged  that a  person could  not  use a  cell phone  while                                                               
stopped at  a stop light, but  offered his belief if  the car was                                                               
parked off the roadway in park that it would be allowable.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ answered yes.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:30:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT referred  to Representative Gardner's bill,                                                               
HB 128 and asked for her  staff's input on what the bill provides                                                               
in terms  of cell phone usage.   He related that  the other bills                                                               
on the calendar have been addressed, except for HB 128.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        HB 128-BAN CELL PHONE USE BY MINORS WHEN DRIVING                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
1:31:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  announced that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 128, "An  Act relating to prohibiting  the use                                                               
of  cellular telephones  by minors  when driving  motor vehicles;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:31:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RANDI SPRAY,  Intern, Representative Berta Gardner,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, stated that  HB 128 prohibits drivers  under the age                                                               
of 18 from using cell phones while driving.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:31:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT   recalled  that  the   committee  briefly                                                               
discussed other cell  phone bills, but not HB 128.   He asked why                                                               
the sponsor limited  HB 128 to minors only and  for the sponsor's                                                               
view on broader coverage.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  also agreed it was important to  consider HB 128                                                               
in  case  the  committee  wants  to  consider  incorporating  any                                                               
provision into HB 22.  She  asked for clarification on the reason                                                               
for the bill and why the cell phone ban is limited to teenagers.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. SPRAY explained  that HB 128 would prohibit  anyone under the                                                               
age of  18 to from  using a cell phone  while driving.   It would                                                               
also make cell phone use a  secondary offense so the driver would                                                               
have to  be pulled  over for  another infraction  in order  to be                                                               
cited.  The sponsor introduced  this bill specifically limited to                                                               
minors is  because they are  most at  risk from using  their cell                                                               
phone while driving.   The statistics show  motor vehicle crashes                                                               
are the  number one  cause of  death for  teenagers.   In Alaska,                                                               
statistics show  that motor  vehicle crashes  are the  number two                                                               
causes  of injuries  requiring  hospitalization. Drivers  between                                                               
the ages  of 16-17  have the highest  fatality rates  in crashes,                                                               
and  approximately  36  percent  of  crashes  in  Alaska  involve                                                               
drivers between the ages of  16-20, yet this age group represents                                                               
only  7.4  percent  of  Alaska's drivers.    She  concluded  that                                                               
Representative Gardner  introduced HB 128 since  it targets those                                                               
most at  risk.  The  bill also  serves to teach  teenagers proper                                                               
driving  habits  by saying,  "This  is  the  law, not  just  good                                                               
advice," she said.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:33:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN   asked  whether  she  could   give  the                                                               
committee her insight and predict  how teenagers would feel about                                                               
HB 128.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. SPRAY did  not think minors would like HB  128.  She recalled                                                               
being a  passenger in a  vehicle while an  inexperienced teenager                                                               
was using his/her  cell phone.  She said she  was scared when the                                                               
driver used his/her cell phone.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[HB 128 was held over.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
             HB  22-NO CELL PHONE USE WHEN DRIVING                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON asked to now take public testimony on HB 22.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:35:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALFRED  MCKINLEY, SR.,  Executive  Committee  Member, Grand  Camp                                                               
Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska  Native Sisterhood (ANB), stated                                                               
that  he supports  HB  22 because  his  brother-in-law, Mr.  John                                                               
Hope, was  killed and his sister  was badly injured.   He did not                                                               
want others  to be killed  due to cell  phone use.   He suggested                                                               
the  bill should  be  expanded to  include  individuals riding  a                                                               
bicycle while using  a cell phone.  He suggested  the bill should                                                               
also extend to pedestrians since  pedestrians sometimes step into                                                               
traffic without  looking and  he has almost  hit people  who step                                                               
into  the street  while  using  cell phones.    He remarked  that                                                               
pedestrians simply expect  to have the right of way  so they step                                                               
right in front of him.  He characterized HB 22 as a good bill.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINLEY explained when he receives  a call on his cell phone                                                               
while driving  that he answers the  call but tells the  caller he                                                               
will call  back.   He acknowledged  the dangers  of using  a cell                                                               
phone while  driving.  He  has personally experienced  this while                                                               
in Seattle  driving on  Interstate 5,  which he  characterized as                                                               
very busy, and  his cell phone rang.  He  reiterated the problems                                                               
with cell  phones and  illustrated the risk  by stating  that his                                                               
brother in law, John Hope, is no longer here.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  P. WILSON  pointed out  if  HB 22  were to  pass that  Mr.                                                               
McKinley would not be able to answer his phone while driving.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINLEY  answered that he did  not have a problem  with that                                                               
restriction.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:39:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN asked  whether the  Mr. Hope's  accident                                                               
was caused by someone using a cell phone.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCKINLEY acknowledged  that the  person responsible  for the                                                               
accident  was  using his  cell  phone  and  although it  was  not                                                               
proven, the person was also drinking alcohol.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  remarked that Mr.  McKinley's testimony                                                               
was  important  particularly since  this  is  the first  time  he                                                               
recalled testimony on  cell phone use while  operating a bicycle.                                                               
He said that  as far as pedestrians, "I'm not  going to go there.                                                               
People can walk  and I'm not going to deal  with that."  However,                                                               
cell  phone use  by bicyclists  was another  matter since  he/she                                                               
must balance at the same time  and bicycles are often used during                                                               
the winter  on snow and  ice.  He  envisioned using a  cell phone                                                               
while  balancing on  a  bicycle  as extremely  risky.   He  asked                                                               
whether he thought the bill  should also address bicyclists using                                                               
cell phones.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCKINLEY agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked the  chair's permission to explore                                                               
this avenue.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY  LUCKHAUPT, Assistant  Revisor, Legislative  Legal Counsel,                                                               
Legislative  Legal  and  Research Services,  Legislative  Affairs                                                               
Agency (LAA), introduced himself.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG asked  for  clarification  on the  term                                                               
"driving" as it  pertains to cell phone use.   He asked whether a                                                               
person  would be  prohibited from  listening  to a  radio if  the                                                               
vehicle was parked off the roadway.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT  agreed, noting the  reason the bill  language uses                                                               
"driving" instead of  "operating" is to address that  issue.  The                                                               
broader  term of  "operating" is  used to  designate a  person in                                                               
control  of the  vehicle so  for  "drunk driving"  purposes if  a                                                               
person has the  keys in his/her pocket but is  asleep in the car,                                                               
the person is  still considered to be in control  of the vehicle.                                                               
He advised the person could  be convicted of operating a vehicle.                                                               
However, the  term "driving" is  considered actively  driving, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:43:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON recalled pulling over  to the side of the roadway                                                               
to answer her cell phone.   She asked whether answering the phone                                                               
while idling would be allowable under the bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT responded  that the  term "driving"  was used  for                                                               
someone  pulled over  and not  actively driving.   He  thought it                                                               
would be better if  the car was also in park  to avoid any driver                                                               
distraction,  but he  did not  think she  would be  subject to  a                                                               
penalty under this section.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:44:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG referred to page 1,  line 5, of HB 22 to                                                               
the use of the term "motor  vehicle" and asked whether that would                                                               
include motorcycles and motor scooters.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT  advised that the  term "motor vehicle"  is defined                                                               
in  AS  28.90.990 (16),  which  reads:  "motor vehicle"  means  a                                                               
vehicle which is  self-propelled except a vehicle  moved by human                                                               
or  animal  power;..."    This definition  would  not  include  a                                                               
bicycle or carriage pulled by horses.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said in  the event the committee decided                                                               
to  expand the  bill  to include  bicycles that  it  may wish  to                                                               
consider as a conceptual amendment  the language: "when driving a                                                               
motor vehicle or bicycle."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT agreed.  He  also suggested considering adding "any                                                               
other human power."   He pointed out a  regulation that addresses                                                               
unicycles  restricts the  use of  unicycles in  certain areas  of                                                               
town.   He suggested that bicycles  could also be addressed  in a                                                               
similar  manner or  the committee  could expand  the language  to                                                               
include "any human powered device."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:46:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN asked  whether skateboard  use could  be                                                               
added to the bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  offered  his belief  that  would  fall                                                               
under human powered devices.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT  advised that technically  a skateboard would  be a                                                               
vehicle although he remarked he does  not normally think of it as                                                               
one.  However,  someone cannot ride a skateboard on  a highway or                                                               
vehicular way since that activity  would be prohibited.  He added                                                               
it  may  be  possible  other  provisions would  allow  use  of  a                                                               
skateboard in  those areas.   He  offered to  consider skateboard                                                               
use further since  he has not previously  considered a skateboard                                                               
as being a vehicle.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:47:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT asked  whether  motor  vehicle would  also                                                               
include four wheelers, snow machines, and boats.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT answered  that four wheelers and  snow machines are                                                               
considered   a  motor   vehicle,  while   boats  are   considered                                                               
separately.   A  person cannot  operate a  boat on  a highway  or                                                               
vehicular area  so boats would not  be included in the  bill.  In                                                               
response to Representative  Pruitt, he stated that  a riding lawn                                                               
mower  is  considered  a  motor  vehicle  and  people  have  been                                                               
convicted of DUIs while operating riding lawnmowers.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  offered her belief that people  would not likely                                                               
hear a  cell phone  ring while operating  a four-wheeler  or snow                                                               
machine.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT said  he was  uncertain of  this since  he                                                               
recalled  observing  a  pilot answer  his/her  cell  phone  while                                                               
operating an airplane and airplanes are noisy, too.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  reiterated that  he had  not previously                                                               
considered expanding the bill to add bicycles.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON, after first  determining no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, asked to keep public testimony  open on HB 22 since some                                                               
public members  may still wish  to make comments on  the proposed                                                               
CS.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG offered  his willingness  to work  on a                                                               
conceptual amendment to  include bicycles and to offer  it in the                                                               
next committee of referral.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON expressed her  concern that the public  may need                                                               
more time  to participate so  she preferred  to hold HB  22 over.                                                               
She related she has experienced  cell phone use while driving and                                                               
the  stressed the  importance of  the bill.   She  predicted that                                                               
some people  may not like the  bill so she would  like the public                                                               
to  have  additional  time  to  testify.   She  also  wanted  the                                                               
committee to consider how to  accommodate truck drivers or others                                                               
who need to communicate with dispatchers.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  stated   that  he  worked  extensively                                                               
during  this past  interim with  the Alaska  Truckers Association                                                               
this.   He  reported that  the federal  government is  working to                                                               
promulgate regulations  to ban all  cell phone use  in commercial                                                               
trucking  operations.    He  suggested  that  the  committee  not                                                               
address the  truckers in this  bill since the  federal regulation                                                               
will supersede  the Alaska law.   He offered his belief  that the                                                               
Alaska Truckers Association supports this approach.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN pointed  out that  many truckers  do not                                                               
use a  cell phone  but use  citizen band (CB)  radio.   This bill                                                               
would not affect truckers using CB radios.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  P. WILSON  acknowledged that  the representatives  present                                                               
from the Department  of transportation and the  Department of Law                                                               
are nodding their assent.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:57:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN suggested that  the committee should also                                                               
consider whether  this bill  should address cell  phone use  as a                                                               
primary  or  secondary offense.    He  asked whether  a  motorist                                                               
should be stopped solely for cell  phone use.  He also recalled a                                                               
zero  fiscal note  for HB  22, but  after hearing  the statistics                                                               
reported today that  he was uncertain it should be  a zero fiscal                                                               
note.   He suggested  additional officers  might be  necessary to                                                               
enforce HB  22, if the bill  passes.  He asked  for clarification                                                               
on these issues.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON answered that  she strongly supports keeping cell                                                               
phone use while driving as a primary offense in HB 22.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG agreed  that cell phone use  should be a                                                               
primary offense but  he said he would like to  expand the bill to                                                               
include cell  phone use while  operating a  bicycle.  He  said he                                                               
also would like to broaden  the bill to include vehicles operated                                                               
by human  power.   He offered  to work with  the bill  sponsor on                                                               
draft language to include those provisions.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ asked  for clarification  on expanding  the                                                               
bill to include bicycles.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON explained the committee  heard testimony earlier                                                               
today about a motor vehicle crash  caused by someone using a cell                                                               
phone while riding a bicycle.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ offered to give  the idea some thought.  She                                                               
related her  primary interest and focus  for HB 22 is  to address                                                               
drivers and motor vehicles.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered  to speak to the  sponsor and if                                                               
she   was   agreeable   that  he   would   draft   language   for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:03:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN suggested  considering how to disseminate                                                               
information to the broad range of  people that may be affected by                                                               
HB 22, especially since fines are included in the bill.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked for  clarification on  the public                                                               
education aspect and whether the  bill should include a temporary                                                               
provision to provide an education component.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN advised  member  that distracted  driving  is one  of                                                               
AHSO's  top priorities.    She offered  that  the department  has                                                               
implemented  distracted driving  and radio  ads in  its statewide                                                               
media.   Thus,  no  additional  costs would  be  incurred by  the                                                               
department.   The AHSO would bump  up its advertising to  a level                                                               
two or three, she said.   Currently, the department ads highlight                                                               
distracted driving.   "Don't  put on your  lipstick.   Don't open                                                               
your  cell phone.   Don't  look  in the  back of  your car  while                                                               
you're driving," she said.   She anticipated the AHSO would focus                                                               
on  cell phone  use,  to address  hand held  or  hands free  cell                                                               
phone, based  on provisions in  HB 22 if  the passes.   The media                                                               
piece would  also identity the effective  date of the bill.   She                                                               
envisioned the department would  use saturation advertising about                                                               
a month  before the law's  effective date, then two  weeks before                                                               
and two weeks  after the effective date.   Additionally, the AHSO                                                               
would put the  ad in its advertising rotation so  an ad would run                                                               
periodically.   Additionally,  the department  would periodically                                                               
change the  law so people would  not view the same  ad year after                                                               
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG related his  understanding that the AHSO                                                               
would not  need any additional  language to carry out  the public                                                               
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN answered no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether  an effective  date would                                                               
be necessary.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CASHEN answered  that  an effective  date  is not  necessary                                                               
since  the  AHSO  already  has  distracted  driving  as  its  top                                                               
priority.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked whether the Department  of Public                                                               
Safety would  need to be  contacted with respect to  an effective                                                               
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN  answered that while  the AHSO works closely  with the                                                               
DPS, the  department does not  hold any discussions  on effective                                                               
dates on  bills.   She explained that  the department  would only                                                               
consider the effective  date for planning purpose just  as it did                                                               
for the child booster seat law.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:08:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked whether DPS should be contacted.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  offered  to  check with  the  DPS  on  the                                                               
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:08:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT asked  for clarification  on whether  cell                                                               
phone use is currently classified as distracting driving.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. CASHEN answered yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT asked  for clarification  on the  criteria                                                               
necessary for  a law  enforcement officer to  pull over  a driver                                                               
using a cell phone.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:09:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HANS BRINKE,  Captain; Commander, Bureau of  Highway Patrol (BHP)                                                               
Alaska State  Trooper (AST), Department  of Public  Safety (DPS),                                                               
related his understanding the question  is what the officer would                                                               
need to initiate a traffic stop  for a person using a cell phone.                                                               
He answered that if a person is  using a cell phone and it is not                                                               
for an  excepted practice, the  officer could initiate  a traffic                                                               
stop.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT   asked  for  clarification   on  excepted                                                               
practice.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN BRINKE  related that excepted  use is defined  in another                                                               
statute and includes  using a cell phone as  a global positioning                                                               
device, and  map systems, which  are often  in smart phones.   He                                                               
described  a traffic  stop he  made in  which he  had observed  a                                                               
driver manipulating  a cell phone.   When the driver  was stopped                                                               
for a  violation, he/she  indicated use  of a  global positioning                                                               
device, which was allowable under the law, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:11:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE  CARPENETI,  Assistant   Attorney  General,  Legal  Services                                                               
Section, Criminal  Division, Department of Law  (DOL), introduced                                                               
herself.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked why this  bill is necessary if the                                                               
state has a distracted driving law.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  said he would  also like  clarification on                                                               
how this bill differs from the current law would be appreciated.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:12:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG recalled prior discussions on an anti-                                                                 
text bill.  He also  recalled that besides identifying the person                                                               
using  a cell  phone  that  it was  necessary  to  show that  the                                                               
activity distracted the driver.   This bill would make distracted                                                               
driving per se, which would provide an easier burden of proof.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CARPENETI agreed.   She  recalled earlier  testimony by  Ms.                                                               
Cashen  that  described  the   AHSO's  advertising  approach  for                                                               
distracted driving  and not necessarily to  a particular statute.                                                               
She thinks cell  phone use is considered distracted  driving as a                                                               
practical matter.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON pointed  out that  drivers engage  in distracted                                                               
driving, but  unless an  accident happens  it is  not necessarily                                                               
against  the  law, but  is  similar  to  other activity  such  as                                                               
turning  on the  radio.    She recalled  a  bad  accident in  her                                                               
district caused by a distracted driver.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  stated that distracting behaviors  such as putting                                                               
on lipstick, reading  a book, or looking in the  backseat are not                                                               
specifically prohibited but the  state has statutes for negligent                                                               
or reckless driving that could be used to cite the driver.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  P.  WILSON  indicated  that   Ms.  Cashen  is  nodding  in                                                               
agreement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:15:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT pointed  out that  the  separate statutes  Captain                                                               
Brinke referred  to relate to  operating a vehicle with  a screen                                                               
device,  which  include  texting  or  watching  a  movie.    Some                                                               
exceptions to that statute allow  some use for global positioning                                                               
devices  or a  long distance  trucker is  allowed to  use a  data                                                               
terminal   to  input   weight  points   or  communicate   his/her                                                               
dispatcher.     Another  exception  applies  to   viewing  caller                                                               
identification  information.    He  advised that  none  of  these                                                               
exceptions would  affect HB 22.   This  bill would not  allow any                                                               
cell  phone use  except  for a  hands-free device.    He said  he                                                               
wanted to  clarify this since  the defenses in the  screen device                                                               
provisions in current statute do not apply to HB 22.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN  asked  for   a  specific  statute  that                                                               
defines distracted driving.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LUCKHAUPT answered that the  statutes do not identify a crime                                                               
of  distracted  driving  but  as  Ms.  Carpeneti  mentioned,  the                                                               
statutes  identify reckless  or negligent  driving.   Thus, if  a                                                               
driver does something that would  rise to that level he/she could                                                               
be cited,  but reaching for  something such  as a radio  does not                                                               
normally rise  to that level.   He commented that if  someone was                                                               
riding with  dog on lap and  the dog was distracting  the driver,                                                               
it is possible that the driver's  behavior could rise to level of                                                               
an offense, but other facts would likely need to be considered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:19:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MITCH FALK, Owner,  Bullwinkle's Pizza, stated that  he has often                                                               
truck drivers  use a cell  phone while  attempting to shift.   He                                                               
offered  his belief  that the  drivers are  forced to  steer with                                                               
their  knees.   He  pointed out  that kids  in  Juneau have  hard                                                               
enough  time  learning to  drive,  especially  with the  lack  of                                                               
driver's education.  He offered his support for HB 22.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN asked  whether he  would get  hands free                                                               
cell phones for his pizza drivers if this bill passes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FALK  agreed  he  probably  would  do  so.    He  said  that                                                               
communication is necessary  in order for his drivers  to do their                                                               
jobs.  He added  that cell phone use is on the  rise and needs to                                                               
be checked.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:23:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ recapped  outstanding issues on HB  22.  She                                                               
offered to contact DPS on the  effective date.  She remarked that                                                               
the AHSO can  incorporate the advertising into  its current plan.                                                               
She offered to work with  Representative Petersen on the issue of                                                               
primary  versus secondary  offenses.   She also  offered to  work                                                               
with Representative  Gruenberg on whether  to expand the  bill to                                                               
include bicycles.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON stressed  that HB 22  should address  cell phone                                                               
use as  a primary offense.   She acknowledged that minors  do not                                                               
have ready access to drivers' training.   She stressed that if it                                                               
against the law to use a cell phone that it sends a message.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ offered her belief  the bill should apply to                                                               
all drivers.  She said she feels strongly about that aspect.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  asked to  reconsider the zero  fiscal note                                                               
and whether  some cost may  be needed  in order to  implement the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG agreed.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI  responded that  the zero fiscal  impact is  not an                                                               
issue.  It is not whether  the activity is a primary or secondary                                                               
offense,  but rather  that the  penalty constitutes  a violation.                                                               
The agency does  not appear in court for most  violations so this                                                               
would not  have an effect  on their  offices or on  the assistant                                                               
district attorneys.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked Captain  Brinke for  his comments                                                               
on the fiscal note.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN BRINKE deferred to Lt.  Rodney Dial since he prepared the                                                               
DPS fiscal note.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  for clarification  on  the  DPS                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY   DIAL,  Lieutenant,   Deputy  Commander,   A  Detachment,                                                               
Division of  Alaska State Troopers,  Department of  Public Safety                                                               
(DPS),  said  that passage  of  HB  22  would add  an  additional                                                               
offense officers  could issue citations  for.  However,  it would                                                               
not change  the time officers  spent on traffic enforcement.   It                                                               
may mean a  tradeoff since an officer conducting a  stop for cell                                                               
phone  use  may  not  apprehend other  violators  such  as  those                                                               
speeding motorists.   He reiterated  that traffic  enforcement is                                                               
based on allowable time.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN  asked how many points  would be assessed                                                               
against a driver's license if the  bill passed and the person was                                                               
cited for  driving while using  a cell  phone.  He  asked whether                                                               
designating  points assessed  against  a  driver's license  would                                                               
need to be added to the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LIEUTENANT DIAL said he thought  the court would probably set the                                                               
driver license points.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN   related  the   number  of   points  is                                                               
important to consider since it  could affect a driver's insurance                                                               
rates.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON offered her  belief that people would likely want                                                               
to be careful not  to use their cell phones if  they want to keep                                                               
their driver's license.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CARPENETI said she was uncertain  how the points would be set                                                               
if this bill were to pass.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LUCKHAUPT explained  that  AS 28.15.221  sets  up the  point                                                               
system and  provides for  the commissioner  of the  Department of                                                               
Administration  or  DPS  to  assign   the  points  based  on  the                                                               
recognition  of the  severity of  the offense.   This  process is                                                               
used for  every new  offense.   He offered  his belief  that cell                                                               
phone use  while driving would  be akin to other  basic offenses,                                                               
which  is usually  set  at  two points.    In  response to  Chair                                                               
Wilson, he  said the  legislature does  not generally  advise the                                                               
department since it is usually a process set by regulation.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:34:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ referred  to the hands free  provision in HB                                                               
22   as  a   carryover   from  testimony   last  legislature   on                                                               
Representative  Doogan's   bill.    She  recalled   testimony  by                                                               
commercial operators  in favor of hands-free  provision, which is                                                               
the reason she preserved it when introducing HB 22.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:35:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ  remarked as a  joint prime sponsor  she has                                                               
received considerable written comments  and telephone comments on                                                               
the bill.   She stated  that she  has also received  support from                                                               
the Alaska  Police Officer's Association, the  Alaska Association                                                               
of  Chiefs of  Police, the  Women Police  of Alaska,  and several                                                               
individuals  and community  organizations have  expressed support                                                               
for HB 22.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
[HB 22 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:37:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:37                                                                 
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 22 AK_2010_Hwy_Safety_Phone_Survey.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
Hb 22 Leg Research Report 1 26 11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
hb 22 Ntl Highway Traffic Safety stats.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB 22.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB22 Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
SS HB 22 Sectional Analysis.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
CS HB 22 version B 2 24 11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB22 Articles.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB22 Support Letter from APOA 2 14 11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB22 Support Letters.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB22.Support Letter from APOA.2.14.11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB022-DPS-DET-02-25-11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB022-LAW-CRIM-02-25-11.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 22
HB0128A.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 3/1/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 128
HB0035A.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 35
HB0068A.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 68
HB 128 Back up docs.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 3/1/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 128
HB 128 Sponsor Stmt.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 3/1/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 128
HB 128 Statistics.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 3/1/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 128
HB 128 supporting docs.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HTRA 3/1/2012 1:00:00 PM
HB 128
HB 35 02-28-11 - Letter to Representative P Wilson.pdf HTRA 3/1/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 35