§ 4176 Careless or inattentive driving.
(a) Whoever operates a vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner, or without due regard for road, weather and traffic conditions then existing, shall be guilty of careless driving.
(b) Whoever operates a vehicle and who fails to give full time and attention to the operation of the vehicle, or whoever fails to maintain a proper lookout while operating the vehicle, shall be guilty of inattentive driving.
(c) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $25 nor more than $75. For each subsequent like offense occurring within 3 years of a former offense, the person shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $95.
(1) In addition to any other penalty imposed for an offense committed under this section, if the finder of fact determines that the commission of that offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user lawfully in the public right-of-way, the court shall:
a. Impose a sentence that requires the person convicted of the offense to:
1. Complete a traffic safety course approved by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles;
2. Perform up to 100 hours of community service, which must include activities related to driver improvement and providing public education on traffic safety;
b. Impose, but suspend on the condition that the person complete the requirements of paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section,
1. A fine of not more than $550; and
2. A suspension of driving privileges as provided in § 2733(a)(2) of this title; and
3. Set a hearing date up to 1 year from the date of sentencing. At that hearing, the court shall:
A. If the person has successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section, dismiss the penalties imposed under paragraphs (d)(1)b.1. and 2. of this section.
B. If the person has not successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section, either: I. Grant the person an extension based on good cause shown, or II. Impose the penalties under paragraphs (d)(1)b.1. and 2. of this section.
(2) The police officer issuing the citation for an offense under this section shall note on the citation if the cited offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user of the public right-of-way. If so noted, the person receiving the citation shall not be permitted to use the voluntary assessment process otherwise permitted under § 709 of this title.
(3) As used herein, “vulnerable user of a public right-of-way” means:
a. A pedestrian, including those persons actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way; or
b. A person riding an animal; or
c. A person operating any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the highway:
1. A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;
2. A skateboard;
3. Roller skates;
4. In-line skates;
5. A scooter;
6. A moped;
7. A bicycle; or
8. A motorcycle.
21 Del. C. 1953, § 4175A; Operation of a vehicle causing death; unclassified misdemeanor.
(a) A person is guilty of operation of a vehicle causing death when, in the course of driving or operating a motor vehicle or OHV in violation of any provision of this chapter other than § 4177 of this title, the person’s driving or operation of the vehicle or OHV causes the death of another person.
(b) Operation of a vehicle causing death is an unclassified misdemeanor.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of operation of a vehicle causing death shall for the first offense be fined not more than $1,150 and imprisoned not more than 30 months. For each subsequent conviction under this section the person shall be fined not more than $2,300 and imprisoned not more than 60 months.
(d) The Superior Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction over a violation of this section by a person 18 years of age or older. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an offense which is within the original and/or exclusive jurisdiction of another court and which may be joined properly with a violation of this section is deemed to be within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the Superior Court.
§ 4176B Cell phone use by school bus drivers; penalties.
(a) No driver shall operate a school bus on any highway while using a cell telephone while such vehicle is in motion and such vehicle is transporting 1 or more children; provided, that this section shall not apply to communications made to and from a central dispatch, school transportation department or its equivalent when the bus is not equipped with a functioning 2-way radio.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “cell telephone” means a cellular, analog, wireless or digital telephone.
(c) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $50 nor more than $100. For each subsequent offense the person shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $200 and shall have that person’s school bus endorsement removed from that person’s driver’s license for a period of at least 6 months.
(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the driver’s use of a cell telephone was necessitated by a bona fide emergency.
§ 4176C Electronic communication devices; penalties.
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any highway while using an electronic communication device while such motor vehicle is in motion.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall mean:
(1) ”Cell telephone” shall mean a cellular, analog, wireless or digital telephone.
(2) ”Electronic communication device” shall mean a cell telephone, personal digital assistant, electronic device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, 2-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
(3) ”Engages or engaging in a call” shall mean when a person talks into or listens on an electronic communication device, but shall not mean when a person dials or punches a phone number on an electronic communication device.
(4) ”Hands-free electronic communication device” shall mean an electronic communication device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such electronic communication device, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand or both hands.
(5) ”Hands-free equipment” shall mean the internal feature or function of a hands-free electronic communication device or the attachment or addition to a hands-free electronic communication device by which a user may engage in a call without the use of either hand or both hands.
(6) ”Using” shall mean holding in a person’s hand or hands an electronic communication device while:
a. Viewing or transmitting images or data;
b. Playing games;
c. Composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages or other electronic data; or
d. Engaging in a call.
(c) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:
(1) A law-enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a paramedic or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of their official duties;
(2) A person using an electronic communication device to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard, or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or to report any crime;
(3) A person using a cell telephone who is operating a school bus and covered under § 4176B of this title;
(4) A person engaging in a call with a hands-free electronic communication device while utilizing hands-free equipment and such person does not hold the hands-free electronic communication device in such person’s hand or hands;
(5) The activation or deactivation of hands-free equipment or a function of hands-free equipment;
(6) A person driving or operating an unregistered farm tractor, farm truck or farm equipment;
(7) Use of an amateur radio by an FCC-licensed amateur radio operator; and
(8) A person who during their course of employment with a business or government entity uses a 2-way radio mounted or attached to a motor vehicle to communicate with a central dispatch, base of operation, or with other employees of such business or government entity.
(d) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be subject to a civil penalty of $50. For each subsequent offense the person shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $200.
(e) No motor vehicle points shall be assessed for a violation of this section. Additionally, a violation of this section shall not be made a part of a person’s driving record unless that person was operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of violation.