In a news dump late Friday afternoon, the Capitol Police released updated traffic regulations for the Capitol grounds that will be "effective and enforceable by June 1."
The department touted the new rules as "straightforward and easier to understand," following the first major rewrite in more than 30 years. The police say they redrafted any regulation with overly technical language to be more clear in the new, 179-page document posted on their website .
For example, a rule referring to "brake force deceleration per second" was updated to read: “All brakes shall be maintained in good working order.”
Other major changes include:
- An entirely new chapter, Chapter 9, dealing with taxicabs that corresponds with current District of Columbia regulations.
- Bicycles, Segways and pedicabs are now covered covered separately from motor vehicles in the portion dealing with foot traffic and recreational traffic on the grounds.
- The language has been updated to include all new architectural features on the Capitol Grounds, including the East Front and Capitol Visitor Center.
- Rules relating to demonstrations and other miscellaneous activities on the Capitol Grounds have been "substantially revised," according to the department. One major change makes demonstration rules applicable to groups of 20 or under as well as to groups of over 20.
- Road races will only be permitted through the Capitol Grounds on Sundays.
A task force comprised of personnel from the Capitol Police, Architect of the Capitol and House and Senate Sergeants at Arms worked together on the rules, and reviewed current D.C. code.
"The goal of the task force was to propose to the Capitol Police Board amendments to the [Capitol traffic rules] intended to make the regulations more comprehensive and specifically aligned with current traffic regulation and enforcement on Capitol Grounds," they stated in the release.
Lt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the department, was not immediately able to comment on the changes.