A hole in Utah traffic laws was shown last summer when a car sideswiped Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Dunn as he investigated an accident severing his hand.
"What was the charge on that? Unsafe lane travel," Highway Patrol Superintendent Daniel Fuhr told the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities and Technology Committee on Thursday. "That was it. Nothing else."
The panel then unanimously endorsed SB104 to close the gap between issuing a minor traffic tickets and charging a major crime such as negligent homicide by creating a punishment in between a misdemeanor for "endangering a vulnerable user of a highway," including emergency workers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.