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IVESTIGATION OF THE REGULATION OF MOTOR
Subcommittee of the Committee on the District of Columbia to consider question of the regulation of motor-vehicle traffic in the District of Columbia.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
FREDERICK N. ZIHLMAN, Maryland, Chairman. CLARK BURDICK, Rhode Island.
JAMES W. OVERSTREET, Georgia. THOMAS S. WILLIAMS, Illinois.
FRITZ G. LANHAM, Texas.
INVESTIGATION OF THE REGULATION OF MOTOR-VEHICLE
TRAFFIC IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 9, 1920. The subcommittee met at 10.40 o'clock a. m., Hon. Frederick N. Zihlman (chairman) presiding.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. I might state that the clerk of the District Committee has submitted this bill to the District Commissioners for their views on it. The bill before us is H. R. 12267. Mr. Brownlow had submitted the bill to Maj. Pullman shortly before he became sick, and before he was able to make a report on it he became worse and died. I notified Mr. Brownlow of the hearing, and he advised me that he was tied up in the hearings on the District appropriation bill before the Subcommittee on the District of the Appropriations Committee, which is holding hearings daily on the estimates for the next fiscal year, and that he would be unable to be here to-day. He, however, stated that several representatives of the District government and of the police department would be here. Mr. L. A. Sterne, who represents the public chauffeurs of the city, two organizations, has asked that he be given an opportunity to be heard this morning, inasmuch as he has other duties which will prevent him staying until later in the day, and if there is no objection on the part of the committee we will hear from Mr. Sterne as to what his views are on this bill, and also the views of the chauffeurs he represents. The bill provides for the establishment of a traffic court in the District of Columbia. The bill referred to is as follows:
[H. R. 12267, Sixty-sixth Congress, second session.]
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this act may be cited as the “ District of Columbia Motor Vehicle Traffic act.".
SEC. 2. Whenever used in this act or in section 43 of the act entitled “An act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia," approved March 3, 1901, as amended
(1) The term “motor vehicle” includes any automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor bicycle, motor cycle, or other self-propelled vehicle not primarily designed for running on rails, except a traction engine, tractor, or road roller ;
(2) The term “traffic court” means the “ District of Columbia Traffic Court”;
(3) The term “ commissioner" means the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in the District of Columbia ;
(4) The term “ District of Columbia Code” means the act entitled “An act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia," approved March 3, 1901, as amended;
(5) The term “ District” means the District of Columbia.
SEC. 3. Section 43 of the District of Columbia Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
“ SEC. 43. JURISDICTION.-(1) The police court shall have original jurisdiction concurrently with the supreme court of the District, except where otherwise expressly herein provided, of all crimes and offenses committed in the District not capital or otherwise infamous and not punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, except libel, conspiracy, and violation of the post-office and pension laws of the United States, and also of all offenses against municipal ordnances and regulations in force in the District of Columbia, except as provided in paragraph (3) of this section. The police court shall also have power to examine and commit or hold to bail, either for trial or further examination, in all cases, whether cognizable therein or in the supreme court of the District.”
(2) There is hereby established a branch of the police court to be known as the District of Columbia Traffic Court.” The President is hereby authorized
to designate one of the judges of the police court to serve also as judge of the i traffic court. The term of such office of the judge so designated shall be coex
tensive with his term of office as judge of the police court, and such judge shall receive, in addition to his salary as judge of the police court, additional salary at the rate of $1,000 a year for his services as judge of the traffic court. The remaining judge of the police court shall also serve temporarily as judge of the traffic court during the absence or incapacity of the permanent judge thereof or during a vacancy in that office. Such temporary judge of the traffic court shall receive, in addition to his salary as judge of the police court, additional compensation at the rate of $1,000 a year during any period of such service as temporary judge of the traffic court.
(3) The traffic court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over (a) offenses against any municipal ordinance or regulation in force in the District, in so far as it relates to the regulation of motor-vehicle traffic, (b) violations of any provisions of the District of Columbia motor vehicle traffic act or any regulation issued thereunder, and (c) violations of section 826b of the District of Columbia Code, of section 12 of an act entitled "An act making appropriations to provide for the expenditures of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, and for other purposes," approved July 11, 1919, of paragraph 11 of section 7, as amended, of an act entitled “An act making appropriations to provide for the expenses of the government of the District of Columbia for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1903, and for other purposes," approved July 1, 1902, or of any regulation issued thereunder,
(4) The provisions of subchapter 2 (except sections 52, 53, and 55) of chapter 1 the District of Columbia Code and all other provisions of law relating to the police court of the District of Columbia shall, as far as practicable and when not directly in conflict with the provisions of this section, apply also to the traffic court and the judge, officers, and employees thereof.
(5) The judge of the traffic court is authorized to appoint a clerk of such court, who shall receive salary at the rate of $2,200 a year, payable monthly, and may appoint such other officers and employees and make such expenditures for printing, telegrams, telephone, law books, books of reference, periodicals, furniture, stationery, office equipment, witness fees, jury expenses, and other supplies and expenses as may, in his opinion, be necessary to the efficient execution of the functions of the traffic court as provided in this section. All of the expenditures of the court shall, upon the presentation of itemized vouchers therefor approved by the judge of the traffic court, be audited and paid in the same manner as expenditures for the police court.
(6) For the period subsequent to the passage of this act ending June 30, 1921, the sum of $12,000 is hereby authorized to be appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and for each fiscal year thereafter the sum of $10,000 is hereby authorized to be appropriated, one half to be paid out of any money in the Treasury of the United States and the other half out of the revenues of the District. The judge of the traffic court may expend such sums in executing the functions of such court as provided in this section.
SEC. 4. The automobile board of the District of Columbia is hereby abolished, and there is hereby established the office of commissioner of motor vehicles in