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Proposed Legislation by North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan
NATIONAL POLICE PURSUIT POLICY ACT

105th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1236

To amend title 23, United States Code, to provide for a national program concerning motor vehicle pursuits by law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Originally introduced by Mr. Dorgan on September 29, 1997

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A BILL

To amend title 23, United States Code, to provide for a national program concerning motor vehicle pursuits by law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``National Police Pursuit Policy Act of 1998''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that--

(1) in 1996--

(A) 377 deaths occurred in the United States as a result of high-speed motor vehicle pursuits; and

(B) 103 of those deaths were police officers or innocent bystanders who died as a result of high-speed motor vehicle pursuits;

(2) in 1995, of the high-speed motor vehicle pursuits conducted during that year, approximately--

(A) 40 percent resulted in accidents;

(B) 20 percent resulted in injury; and

(C) 1 percent resulted in death;

(3) a recent study found that approximately 60 percent of high-speed motor vehicle pursuits resulted from pursuits that were not related to felony offenses;

(4) an insufficient amount of statistical data and documentation concerning high-speed motor vehicle pursuits available;

(5) a recent study found that although only 31 percent of law enforcement agencies maintain consistent records on motor vehicle pursuits made by law enforcement officers, 71 percent of those agencies were able to provide data on the number of high-speed motor vehicle pursuits conducted;

(6) a recent study found that--

(A) 73 percent of the law enforcement officers polled had been involved in a high-speed motor vehicle pursuit during the 12-month period preceding the date of the polling; and

(B) 40 percent of those officers reported that an accident resulted from a high-speed motor vehicle pursuit in which the officer participated;

(7) a recent study found that most law enforcement recruits who receive training to become law enforcement officers receive only an average of 14 hours of training for driving skills, and a majority of that time is used to provide training in the mechanics of driving instead of providing practice for safe and effective high-speed motor vehicle pursuit procedures; and

(8) a recent study found that an increased emphasis on the high-speed motor vehicle pursuit policies, procedures, and training decreases the occurrence of high-speed motor vehicle pursuits, as the recruits who receive training that includes special training for effective high-speed motor vehicle pursuits were less likely to engage in those pursuits.

 

SEC. 3. MOTOR VEHICLE PURSUIT REQUIREMENTS FOR STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY PROGRAMS.

Section 402(b)(1) of title 23, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in each of subparagraphs (A) through (D), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon;

(2) in subparagraph (E), by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

``(F) on and after January 1, 1999, have in effect throughout the State--

``(i) a law that--

``(I) makes it unlawful for the driver of a motor vehicle to increase speed or to take any other deliberately evasive action if a law enforcement officer clearly signals the driver to stop the motor vehicle; and

``(II) provides that any driver who violates that law shall be subject to a minimum penalty of--

``(aa) imprisonment for a period of not less than 3 months; and

``(bb) seizure of the motor vehicle at issue; and

``(ii) a requirement that each State agency and each agency of a political subdivision of the State that employs law enforcement officers who, in course of employment, may conduct a motor vehicle pursuit shall--

``(I) have in effect a policy that requirements that the Secretary shall establish concerning the manner and circumstances in which a motor vehicle pursuit may be conducted by law enforcement officers;

``(II) train all law enforcement officers of the agency in accordance with the policy referred to in subclause (I); and

``(III) for each fiscal year, transmit to the chief executive officer of the State a report containing information on each motor vehicle pursuit conducted by a law enforcement officer of the agency.''.

SEC. 4. REPORTING REQUIREMENT.

(a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chief of the Capitol Police, and the Administrator of General Services shall each transmit to Congress a report containing--

(1) the policy of the department or agency headed by that individual concerning motor vehicle pursuits by law enforcement officers of that department or agency; and

(2) a description of the procedures that the department or agency uses to train law enforcement officers in the implementation of the policy referred to in paragraph (1).

(b) Requirement.--Each policy referred to in subsection (a)(1) shall meet the requirements established by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to section 402(b)(1)(F)(ii)(I) of title 23, United States Code, concerning the manner and circumstances in which a motor vehicle pursuit may be conducted.

 

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