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No Passing Vehicles at Crosswalks & Drafting a New Winter Mask Bill

HB 320 vote -- tabled.

First thing this morning HB320/Don’t Pass Vehicles Stopped at a Crosswalk was tabled by a 12-10 vote, with 3 R’s Rust, Minchew, & LeMunyon joining the 7 D’s in voting AGAINST Tabling. That kills the bill for this session.

The more you look at that bill, the more you see how little it would change the existing section of Code, but it was an attempt to more clearly give a law enforcement officer something specific that they could charge an offender with.

Then most of the rest of the morning was spent with Del. McQuinn and others in trying to work up acceptable language for HB 542 the Mask bill. Originally designed to stop the KKK from parading with masks on, as well as to prevent hold ups by masked people, if you look at the language, going to a masked ball and wearing a medically prescribed mask were exempted. With temps outside in the low teens, it was common to see motorcyclists, bicyclists, and people waiting at a bus stop wearing masks, all of whom were technically committing a felony.

As we met with Del. Todd Gilbert, the Chair of the House General Laws Committee, it was obvious that he saw the problem and was looking for help in developing the proper language that would prevent the KKK (or anyone else) from marching with hoods on, meet the Retail Merchants strong demand that Masked people be discouraged from entering banks and commercial establishments, yet not make Cyclists, Motorcyclists, Hunters, Trick or Treaters, or anyone in the general public wearing a mask to protect their face from the cold a felon. The language we are working on includes a prohibition on wearing a mask for the purpose of concealing one’s identity, as opposed to for protection from the cold. (The motorcycle rep reported that they occasionally wear masks in warm weather to protect their faces from bugs and flying sand) Also included would be a requirement that anyone wearing a mask to protect their face must remove it prior to entering a bank or commercial establishment.

If you would like to be involved in drafting a piece of legislation, print the existing HB542 from the Legislative Services Website and send me any suggestions for language ASAP as we are trying to get this passed as early as next week.

Also in order ASAP are calls to your Delegates supporting HB82, the Following Too Closely bill, which has been Carried Over for the weekend, so that it will be Debated on Monday, and Voted On on Tuesday.

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2 comments… add one

  • Here’s DC’s law, I think it’s pretty good.

    § 22-3312.03. Wearing hoods or masks.
    (a) No person or persons over 16 years of age, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, shall:

    (1) Enter upon, be, or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road highway, or other public way in the District of Columbia;

    (2) Enter upon, be, or appear upon or within the public property of the District of Columbia; or

    (3) Hold any manner of meeting or demonstration.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section apply only if the person was wearing the hood, mask, or other device:

    (1) With the intent to deprive any person or class of persons of equal protection of the law or of equal privileges and immunities under the law, or for the purpose of preventing or hindering the constituted authorities of the United States or the District of Columbia from giving or securing for all persons within the District of Columbia equal protection of the law;

    (2) With the intent, by force or threat of force, to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person because of his or her exercise of any right secured by federal or District of Columbia laws, or to intimidate any person or any class of persons from exercising any right secured by federal or District of Columbia laws;

    (3) With the intent to intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass any other person;

    (4) With the intent to cause another person to fear for his or her personal safety, or, where it is probable that reasonable persons will be put in fear for their personal safety by the defendant’s actions, with reckless disregard for that probability; or

    (5) While engaged in conduct prohibited by civil or criminal law, with the intent of avoiding identification.

  • @washcycle: thanks! I passed it along to Bud.

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