New York State Assembly

Annual Report 2oo1

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Committee on Transportation


David F. Gantt, CHAIRMAN Sheldon Silver, SPEAKER



  December 15, 2001

Honorable Sheldon Silver
Speaker of the New York State Assembly
Room 932, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I am pleased to submit to you the 2001 Annual Report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation. While it may be a small outward manifestation of the work that is conducted by this body, it also is a vivid illustration of the strength of the democratic process, which has allowed the continued conduct of legislative business despite the horrifying events of September 11, 2001.

During the 2001 Legislative Session, the Committee considered many important bills aimed at improving the safety and efficiency of the various State and local transportation systems and services, as well as enhancing motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist safety.

The safety of highway-railroad grade crossings will be advanced with the enactment of legislation to impose strict sanctions on commercial motor vehicle drivers who fail to stop, exercise due caution, or invoke safety measures when approaching these crossings. The enactment of a new provision requiring certain types of delivery vehicles to have equipment installed to reduce the likelihood of a backing accident also will improve commercial vehicle safety.

The Committee took action on numerous anti-drunk driving measures, including bills to bar an individual from driving a bus or school bus while his or her license is suspended or revoked for DWI/DWAI, to impose stricter penalties on repeat offenders, to lower the per se DWI level from .10% to .08%, and to direct courts to require DWI/DWAI offenders to undergo alcohol/substance abuse screening or assessment, as well as treatment if indicated.

Young passengers and drivers have been a concern of the Committee's for a number of years. Motor vehicle crashes remain one of the leading causes of death and serious physical injury for our youth, and the Committee continues to advance measures to reduce the possibility of crash occurrence, as well as to reduce the likelihood of fatalities and serious injuries. These include bills to require the use of booster seats or other appropriate child restraints for passengers aged four, five and six years, allowing the use of booster seats by children under age four, banning passengers under the age of eighteen from riding in pick-up truck cargo areas under most circumstances, and requiring children under age twelve to ride in the rear seats of vehicles, with limited exceptions.

A bill to inform drivers of the dangers of "road rage" was passed by both houses this year. Its goal is to reduce incidents of aggressive driving on our roadways. Legislation also was enacted to ban the use of handheld cellular telephones while operating motor vehicles, unless the driver is using hands-free equipment, or making an emergency call. This new law also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct a study to examine all forms of driver distraction, the extent to which they contribute to motor vehicle crashes, and to make recommendations for legislative action.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the Committee for their contributions to, and support of, this year's legislative efforts. I also wish to thank the staff for their dedication and hard work.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the members of the Committee, I want to thank you for your encouragement and support of our efforts throughout the 2001 Legislative Session. With your continued leadership, we look forward to a productive Legislative Session in 2002.

 


Sincerely,


David F. Gantt, Chairman
Assembly Committee on Transportation

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Enclosure



2001 ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY

STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION


David F. Gantt, Chairman



Committee Members

Majority

Ivan C. Lafayette
Paul Tonko
Robert Sweeney
Ronald J. Canestrari
Harvey Weisenberg
Alexander Gromack
Joseph Robach
Sam Hoyt
Naomi Matusow
N. Nick Perry
Darryl Towns
Brian M. McLaughlin
Richard A. Smith
Brian M. Higgins
John Lavelle
Amy Paulin

Minority

Marc Herbst

Ranking Minority Member
David Townsend
Pat Casale
James D. Conte
Elizabeth O'C. Little
James P. Hayes

Staff

Sabrina M. Ty, Principal Legislative Coordinator
Julie A. Barney, Principal Analyst
Robert Cook, Counsel to the Chairman
William Thornton, Counsel
Steven Paquette, Session Counsel
Jean Sandaire, Committee Assistant
Janet Crist, Committee Clerk
Laura Sawyer, Program & Counsel Executive Secretary



TABLE OF CONTENTS


  1. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY
    1. Committee Jurisdiction
    2. Summary of Committee Action

  2. 2001 LEGISLATIVE ACTION
    1. Traffic Safety -- General
    2. Traffic Safety -- Child Passengers
    3. Traffic Safety -- DWI
    4. Traffic Safety -- School Transportation
    5. Department of Motor Vehicles
    6. Disabled Access

  3. PUBLIC HEARINGS
  4. OUTLOOK FOR 2002
APPENDIX A: 2000 SUMMARY SHEET

APPENDIX B: BILLS WHICH PASSED BOTH HOUSES


APPENDIX C: BILLS THAT PASSED THE ASSEMBLY



I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY


  1. Committee Jurisdiction

    New York State's transportation system consists of multiple components to move people and products. It includes a State and local highway and bridge system of almost 19,500 bridges and approximately 113,000 miles of highways, over which 126.5 billion vehicle miles are driven annually. There are 531 public and private aviation facilities, providing service to at least 60 million people annually, 6 major public ports, handling more than 130 million tons of freight each year, including the tonnage from all of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and many smaller private ports within the State's boundary handling more than 4 million tons of freight. Also within the State are 3,700 miles of operated railroads, moving 42 million tons of freight annually, 1.5 million riders using Amtrak's Empire and Adirondack services, over 8 million riders passing through Penn Station using Amtrak service with an origin or destination within New York State, and a public transit and commuter rail system carrying at least 2.5 billion passengers annually.

    The Assembly Transportation Committee is charged with the responsibility of advancing policies coordinating the management of these systems and ensuring the employment of measures designed to provide and encourage safe travel. The Committee also is responsible for developing and reviewing legislation covering a wide range of topics affecting the movement of people and goods throughout the State.

    The Committee's jurisdiction includes the Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Motor Vehicles (DMV), the New York State Thruway Authority, and various regional transportation authorities and commissions. Committee action primarily affects the following consolidated laws: Vehicle and Traffic; Highway; Transportation; Navigation; and Railroad.

  2. Summary of Committee Action

    During the 2001 Legislative Session, the Committee reviewed and took action upon measures covering a broad range of transportation-related issues. Bills regarding child passenger and school bus safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety, graduated driver licensing, commercial motor vehicles, consumer protection, railroad crossing safety, and disabled access were all considered. The Committee also moved legislation to reduce the legal limit setting intoxication for DWI purposes from .10% to .08%, and to impose new penalties upon repeat offenders.

    Legislation also was enacted to allow the registration and limited use of "low-speed" vehicles on certain public roads, to require certain types of equipment on delivery trucks to give drivers a better rear view in order to prevent backing accidents, and to help prevent incidents of "road rage." The Committee also participated in the negotiation of legislation which ultimately was enacted to ban the use of hand-held cell phones



II. 2001 LEGISLATIVE ACTION


  1. Traffic Safety -- General

    Road Rage Prevention Education
    (A.5168, Robach; Chapter 536, Laws of 2001)

    Aggressive driving, which has come to mean aggressive acts committed by individuals while operating motor vehicles, has continued to be raised as an issue of concern. It is often referred to as "road rage" when describing the more violent acts committed by drivers. It is difficult to quantify how frequently aggressive driving and road rage occur, because the statistics collected refer to specific acts, violations of law and/or occurrences which contribute to motor vehicle crashes, and not the broader terms of "aggressive driving" and "road rage."

    In an effort to educate drivers about the dangers of losing self-control behind the wheel of a vehicle, the Legislature passed Assembly bill 5168 (Robach, enacted as Chapter 536). The new law requires DMV to provide a component on "road rage" awareness education in the mandatory five hour pre-licensing course, and to include information on "road rage", to be defined by DMV, in the driver's license manual. The law also mandates that DMV require driver's license applicants to answer one or more written questions on the written exam about the devastating effects of "road rage" on motor vehicle operation, and the legal and financial consequences resulting from assaulting, threatening or interfering with the lawful conduct of another person legally using the roadway. Finally, the law requires that point and insurance reduction courses include a component of instruction on "road rage" awareness.

    Truck Backing Safety
    (A.9062, Cahill; Chapter 83, Laws of 2001)

    According to the National Center for Health Statistics, an average of 390 people, including 116 children under the age of four, are killed in off-road back-up accidents each year. Between 1996 and 1999, New York State recorded 6,647 backing crashes involving trucks, resulting in 2,424 injuries and 12 fatalities. Many of these accidents involved vehicles engaged in the delivery of goods or services, as such vehicles typically do not have windows that allow drivers to see the area directly behind the vehicle.

    To address this problem, thereby reducing the likelihood of such injuries and fatalities, Chapter 83 of the Laws of 2001 was enacted. This new law requires every single-unit motor vehicle registered in New York State, operated for commercial purposes and having a cube style or enclosed walk-in delivery bay between eight feet six inches and eighteen feet in length, to be equipped with a cross-view back-up mirror system, rear video system, rear object detection system, or other device to enable the driver to detect persons and objects located directly behind the vehicle.

    Bicycle Helmet Accident Data
    (A.2162, E. Sullivan; Passed Assembly)

    Almost 43 million people rode bicycles in 1999 nationwide, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. It is said that 30% of this number are in California, New York and Illinois. Bicycles are ridden for multiple purposes, including transportation to work, racing, and exercise, but recreation remains the chief reason why persons ride bicycles. More than half of all bicyclist fatalities and injuries occurring in New York State from 1993 to 1995 (the most current year for which statistics are available) involved riders over the age nineteen years.

    Prior to 1993, State law prohibited anyone under the age of five to operate or ride a bicycle without wearing a bicycle helmet. Chapter 266 of the Law of 1993 change the law to prohibit such operation without a helmet by anyone under the age of 14 years. Common sense would indicate that such safety equipment is helpful in reducing injury occurrence and severity, and that riders of all ages would benefit from the protection afforded by helmets. However, current statistics do not include information on whether bicyclists involved in accidents were wearing helmets.

    Assembly bill 2162 (E. Sullivan) would require DMV, beginning with the report to be made in 2003, to include in its annual summary of motor vehicle accidents information regarding the incidence of bicycle helmet usage by bicyclists involved in bicycle-motor vehicle accidents.

    Graduated Drivers' Licensing
    (A.3513, Glick; Passed Assembly)

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year olds. The fatality rate for teenage drivers (16 to 19 years old) is about four times as high as that for drivers aged 25 through 69 years. In an effort to reduce the number of persons injured and killed in crashes involving young drivers, various jurisdictions have enacted forms of "graduated" driver licensing. These systems are designed to phase in the driving privileges of young beginning drivers, with additional privileges granted as the young drivers develop their skills.

    The Assembly unanimously passed A.3513 (Glick), which contains a number of provisions to better prepare all beginning young drivers in New York State for the driving experience. The bill would require persons with learners' permits to hold the permit for six months before becoming eligible to take the road test and obtaining their "junior" driver's license. The bill also would require DMV to suspend the permit or license of any young drivers convicted of a serious traffic infraction, as defined in the legislation.

    Additionally, the bill would raise the required age of the supervisory driver from 18 to 21 years, require all passengers in a vehicle driven by a holder of a learner's permit or junior driver's license to wear seat belts, limit the front seat passengers in vehicles driven by such holders to the supervising driver, and require the parent or guardian to certify that an applicant for a junior driver's license had operated a motor vehicle under supervision for at least 30 hours.

    While others have proposed imposing restrictions on young drivers only in certain geographic regions of the State, the Assembly has remained committed to improving the safety of all young drivers, whose lives should not be placed at greater risk simply by virtue of their place of residence.

    Pedestrian Safety
    (A.4300, Glick; Passed Assembly)

    In 1999, over 18,000 pedestrians were killed or injured on New York roadways. Sixty percent of these pedestrians were crossing a roadway at the time of the accident (23% were crossing with neither a crosswalk nor a signal, 20% were crossing with the signal, 10% were crossing against the signal, and 6% were crossing within a crosswalk where there was no signal). While the number of accidents and fatalities has fallen in recent years, continuous efforts need to be made to further reduce the amount of pedestrian accidents and fatalities and make the streets safe for all users.

    Under current law, the driver of a motor vehicle is required to yield the right of way to a pedestrian only when traffic controls are not in place or not in operation and when such pedestrian is in the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is travelling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.

    For the fifth straight year, the Assembly passed legislation (A.4300, Glick) to provide pedestrians with greater protection by requiring motor vehicles to yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian who has entered any portion of a marked crosswalk.

    This bill also would authorize DOT and local governments to designate "pedestrian zones," defined as areas such as roadways, crosswalks, sidewalks and other infrastructure designed to improve pedestrian access, mobility and safety. The purpose of these areas would be to slow the speed of motor vehicles through the utilization of more effective signage, pavement marking and traffic calming measures. The bill also would require DOT to review its Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices to create new signs or modify existing signs in order to further promote pedestrian safety. Finally, the bill would direct the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to implement a pedestrian safety public outreach campaign, to alert motorists and pedestrians of their rights and responsibilities under the law.

    Seat Belt Clarification
    (A.8853-A, Sweeney; Passed Assembly)

    The proper use of seat belts has proven to be a critical component in protecting motor vehicle occupants. Studies have demonstrated that use of both the lap belt and the harness belt afford greater protection to motor vehicle occupants and reduce their chances of injuries and fatalities. For example, in his 1990 study, "Motorized Two-Point Safety Belt Effectiveness in Preventing Fatalities," Leonard Evans of the General Motors Research Laboratories found that the use of both lap and shoulder harness belts was 13% more effective in preventing fatalities than only using the shoulder belt and 24% more effective than only using the lap belt. Ray Shortridges' 1975 study, "A Comparison of Injury Severity Patterns for Unrestrained, Lap, Belted and Torso Restrained Occupants in Automobile Accidents," for the Highway Safety Research Institute at the University of Michigan found that shoulder belts exercise a greater injury reduction effect than do lap belts. Thus, the use of both lap and shoulder belts affords the greatest possible protection for motor vehicle occupants.

    Recent court decisions have raised significant law enforcement and safety concerns, at least one of which could create confusion in the adjudication of seat belt violations. In one of these cases1 , the court held that a passenger who was only wearing a lap belt in a seating position equipped with both lap and shoulder belts was not in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1229-c. This decision was followed by another2 which held that a person who uses either the "seat safety belt" or "harness safety belt" would be in compliance with VTL 1229-c.

    Seat belt enforcement is a primary enforcement tool, that is, police officers who observe a violation are authorized to stop a motorist for that violation alone, and do not need to observe any other violation. Concerns have been raised that if motorists are permitted to wear only lap belts, police officers will not be able to observe a violation of the seat belt law because such violation will not be readily detectable from a patrol car. DMV has stated that this will serve as a serious enforcement impediment, and may encourage motorists not to wear both the lap and shoulder belt, thereby compromising their safety as well as the safety of other occupants.

    Furthermore, Article 2-A of the VTL establishes Traffic Violation Bureaus (TVBs) in New York City, Rochester, Buffalo, and part of Suffolk County. Since the Cucinello decision only has applicability in the Second Department (which does not encompass all of NYC), the TVB judges cannot apply a uniform interpretation of the seat belt law. There should be a uniform interpretation of this law in order to assist in the equitable and efficient administration of justice. In addition, with varying interpretations of the law, it would be confusing for police officers who testify at TVB hearings to know which "seat belt law" is applicable in any given jurisdiction.

    Assembly bill 8853-A (Sweeney) would clarify the seat belt statute, by explicitly stating that whenever a seating position is equipped with both lap and shoulder belts, any occupant thereof to whom the law applies must wear both such belts.

  2. Traffic Safety -- Child Passengers

    Appropriate Child Restraint Systems
    (A.1262-A, McEneny; Passed Assembly)

    Children outgrow most child safety seats when they weigh about 40 pounds, generally between the ages of four and eight. Among the parents who continue to use restraints, many do so by buckling their children into adult lap/shoulder belts. However, this type of restraint has been shown to cause serious abdominal and/or spinal injuries in a crash, since children under 80 pounds and less than 58 inches tall are too small for them. The lap/shoulder belt tends to ride up onto the abdomen, allowing the pelvis to slide under the belt, leading to direct pressure on the abdominal organs. It also can ride across the neck, rather than the shoulder, of small children.

    Groups ranging from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) recommend the use of belt-positioning booster seats for all children who have outgrown their child safety seat but are too small for adult lap/shoulder belts.

    Accordingly, the Assembly passed A.1262-A (McEneny), which would prohibit the operation of motor vehicles unless all children age four or older but under age seven are restrained in an appropriate child restraint system. The bill would define "child restraint system" as any device used in a motor vehicle in conjunction with safety belts to restrain, seat or position a child, and which meets applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, and "appropriate child restraint system" as any such system for which the occupant meets the manufacturer's size and weight recommendations.

    A.1262-A also would provide an affirmative defense that the passenger subject to the requirements weighs more than eighty pounds, measures more than four feet nine inches in height, and was restrained by a safety belt.

    Children Under Age Four
    (A.3511-A, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    Since 1975, child restraint systems have saved more than 4,000 children, according to NHTSA statistics. NHTSA states that the single most effective way to protect children in the event of a crash is to ensure that all children are buckled up in age-appropriate restraint systems on every trip.

    While the VTL requires that all children under the age of four be restrained in a "specially designed seat" that meets federal safety standards and which is affixed to the vehicle, the manufacturers of many of these seats have crash-tested them only for occupants weighing up to forty pounds. Therefore, any child who is under the age of four years, but who weighs more than forty pounds, should ride only in seats rated for passengers over forty pounds.

    Very few child safety seats are actually rated for over forty pounds. Fortunately, booster seats fill that void, allowing for the safe transportation of such children. Unfortunately, the law, as currently drafted, does not authorize the use of booster seats for children under age four, and a parent or caregiver attempting to provide safer transportation by buckling a young child into a booster seat could technically be given a ticket for failure to comply with the VTL.

    Clearly, the law should not encourage the use of child vehicle safety systems which endanger the lives of the children riding in them. Therefore, A.3511-A would allow parents, caregivers, relatives and friends transporting children who are not yet four years old but who weigh over forty pounds to use booster seats instead of child safety seats, and remain in compliance with the law.

    Pick-Up Truck Cargo Areas
    (A.3512-B, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    Increasingly, people have been purchasing trucks for personal rather than business or commercial use. Given the limited seating capacity of these vehicles, children sometimes ride in the cargo area of pickup trucks. NHTSA has found that more than 200 people annually die as a result of riding in the cargo area, and more than half of these deaths are children and teenagers.

    Riding in the cargo area of a truck, whether covered or not, is very dangerous. Passengers riding there are exposed not only to the possibility of being ejected due to collisions, swerving, braking or rough roads, but also to carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes. No child should be exposed to the dangers of riding unrestrained, compounded by the additional dangers unique to riding in the cargo area of a truck.

    Assembly bill 3512-B (Gantt) is intended to prevent deaths and serious physical injuries to children, by prohibiting the operation of any truck on a public highway, private road open to public motor vehicle traffic, or parking lot while any person under the age of eighteen is in the body or cargo area of the truck. The bill would exempt farm-type tractors used exclusively for agricultural purposes, other farm equipment, and trucks while engaged in use for agricultural purposes, provided that no passengers are under the age of 12 and such vehicles are making only incidental use of a highway. The bill also would exempt trucks participating in a parade pursuant to a municipal permit, provided that at least one person over age eighteen also rides in the body of such truck.

    Children Under Twelve to Ride in Rear Seats
    (A.4106, Grannis; Passed Assembly)

    According to the Air Bag Safety Campaign, in the United States an average of 8 children are killed and 932 injured every day in motor vehicle-related crashes. Experts ranging from NHTSA to the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that children are safest when buckled up and in the back seat. NHTSA estimates that children are up to 29 percent safer when riding in the rear seat regardless of whether the vehicle is equipped with a passenger side air bag. Placing children in the back seat provides greater protection for head-on collisions, the most serious type of crash, by getting children farther away from the point of impact.

    The VTL requires all front seat passengers to be restrained, regardless of age, and all rear seat passengers up to the age of 16 to be restrained. To build on these safety standards, the Assembly passed A.4106 (Grannis). The bill would prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle with any passengers under the age of seven seated in the front seat of such vehicle. However, such prohibition would not apply under the following circumstances: the motor vehicle is not equipped with rear seats; the rear seat cannot accommodate the proper installation of the child safety or booster seat in which such passenger is being transported; all other seat positions contain other occupants; or the passenger has a medical exemption.

    Public Outreach Program
    (A.4202, Towns; Passed Assembly)

    When child safety seats and safety belts are correctly installed and used, injuries can be prevented and lives saved. Unfortunately, approximately 85% of child passengers are placed in child safety seats which are incorrectly installed or improperly used.

    Assembly bill 4202 (Towns) would require the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to develop and implement a public outreach campaign to inform the general public of the need to properly use and correctly install child safety seats, seat belts, of the potential dangers of air bags, and how to properly protect children and adults from risks associated with airbags. The bill would require that the components of the campaign include, but not be limited to, radio and television public service announcements; the development of printed informational materials; and the distribution of the information with license and registration applications and renewals, at State and local DMV offices, at Department of Health offices, and at auto dealerships and other appropriate locations.

    The bill also would require that the campaign coordinate educational efforts with State and local agencies and not-for-profit groups, and to encourage existing traffic safety and driver education programs to include occupant protection information in their curricula.

  3. Traffic Safety -- DWI

    Boating While Intoxicated / Driving While Intoxicated
    (A.1204, Schimminger; Passed Assembly)

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) reports that there were 288 reported boating accidents in New York State during 2000, with 17 deaths (an all-time low for the State), 123 injuries, and over $1.3 million in property damage. OPRHP's statistics indicate that alcohol involvement as a factor in accidents appears to be low. However, alcohol use accounts for a significant number of boating fatalities, and there are a number of accidents in which alcohol involvement is unknown.

    While State and local enforcement efforts have helped to deter boaters from illegally mixing alcohol with the operation of a boat, more remains to be done. Current law does not prohibit an individual whose driver's license is suspended or revoked for a DWI/DWAI conviction from operating a boat, nor a person whose boating privileges are suspended due to BWI/BWAI (boating while intoxicated/boating while ability impaired) from operating a motor vehicle.

    Assembly bill 2637 (Schimminger) would require courts to suspend a person's privilege to operate a vessel following a conviction for DWI or DWAI by alcohol or drugs, and give courts the option to suspend a person's driver's license following a conviction for BWI or BWAI.

    Distribution of Mandatory Surcharge
    (A.3003, Tokasz; Passed Assembly)

    In the FY 2000-2001 budget, the Governor proposed and the Legislature enacted a 34% increase in the mandatory surcharge imposed on traffic violations ($40 for a traffic infraction; $120 for a misdemeanor; and $210 for a felony). This could have the unintended consequence of reducing the collection of fines under the STOP-DWI law. Accordingly, the Assembly passed A.3003 (Tokasz), which proposes that the surcharges imposed for all alcohol-related convictions under the VTL (and vehicular assault and manslaughter under the Penal Law) be returned to the county of conviction, to the credit of the STOP-DWI Program.

    The STOP-DWI Program has always had a commitment to maintain fines at a collectible amount. Earmarking the surcharges on alcohol-related convictions for the STOP-DWI Program would be consistent with the underlying intent of the STOP-DWI statute and will have the effect of insulating the local programs from the effects of any reduced fine collection, thereby helping to restore the revenues that are critical to the success of the Program.

    .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration
    (A.8429, Rules/Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    A federal law enacted on October 23, 2000 requires every state to enact and enforce a law establishing the per se level for driving while intoxicated at .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Failure to do so will result in the withholding of federal highway aid which, for New York State, will amount to approximately $12 million in 2004, growing to over $49 million by 2007 and after.

    Numerous traffic safety and law enforcement professionals have stated that lowering the per se level for intoxication from .10% BAC to .08% BAC will not only save lives and reduce injuries, but also save society the substantial costs in associated health care costs from motor vehicle crashes. Research has shown that the critical driving skills of drivers, even experienced drinkers, is impaired at .08% BAC. These skills include performance in braking, steering, lane changing judgment, and divided attention. Furthermore, some studies have indicated that the risk of being involved in a crash gradually increases at each BAC level, but rises very rapidly after a driver reaches or exceeds .08% BAC compared with drivers who have no alcohol in their systems.

    Assembly bill 8429 would bring New York State into compliance with the federal requirement, by lowering the BAC level at which a driver is deemed by law to have been intoxicated from the current .10% to .08%.

    DWI Assessment and Treatment
    (A.8430, Rules/Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    A 1998 report published by the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) indicates that alcohol, tobacco and other drug addictions cost the nation an estimated 520,000 lives and $238 billion annually. The cost of untreated addictions amounts to $1,000 for every person in the nation. In contrast, treatment generally pays for itself in two to three years in reduced health care expenses alone. It has been shown that for every $1 spent on treatment, $7 is saved in other costs, such as health care, social services, criminal justice, and lost productivity.

    Other recent studies indicate that a combination of alcohol or drug treatment and probation is more effective at reducing subsequent arrests among repeat DWI offenders than probation alone, and that treatment reduces the rate of recidivism for DWI and DWAI by drugs. For example, the principal finding of the "Services Research Outcomes Study," conducted by the Office of Applied Studies at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, indicated that both drug use and criminal behavior are reduced following inpatient, outpatient and residential treatment for drug abuse.

    Another example is the "National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study" (NTIES), the key findings of which indicate that treatment has lasting benefits. Significant reductions in drug and alcohol use were still reported a full year after treatment, and reductions were noted regardless of the amount of time spent in treatment or the amount of treatment received.

    Assembly bill 8430 (Rules/Gantt) would require, at the arraignment of a person charged with DWI by alcohol or drugs, one of the following:


    • mandatory screening for alcohol or substance abuse or dependency for persons charged with a first violation whose BAC is less than .15% or who have refused to submit to a chemical test; or,

    • mandatory alcohol or substance abuse or dependency assessment for the following: persons whose screening indicates that he or she is abusing or dependent upon alcohol or drugs; persons charged with DWI by alcohol or drugs after a previous conviction of any of such subdivisions or of vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter; and persons whose BAC is .15% or higher.

    A.8430 also would require a court, when imposing a sentence of probation or conditional discharge upon a person whose alcohol or substance abuse or dependency assessment indicates the need for treatment, to require such person to participate in and successfully complete treatment as a condition of the sentence. The bill would provide for the confidentiality of the screenings, assessments and treatment.

    Repeat Offenders
    (A.8775, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    The federal Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) Restoration Act requires states to enact certain provisions with respect to repeat drunk driving offenders. Specifically, states must, at a minimum, enact and enforce laws providing the following with respect to persons convicted of drunk driving more than once in a five year period: a minimum one year suspension of drivers' licenses; an assessment of the individual's degree of alcohol abuse and treatment, as appropriate; for a second offense, either 30 days community service or 5 days imprisonment; and, for a third or subsequent offense, either 60 days community service or 10 days imprisonment.

    States also must enact and enforce at least one of the following three provisions: impoundment of the offenders' vehicles, immobilization of the offenders' vehicles, or installation of an ignition interlock system on each of such motor vehicles.

    In order to build upon New York's solid DWI laws, and to help the State to avoid the transfer of 1.5% - 3% of a portion of federal highway aid from highway projects to highway safety programs, the Assembly passed A.8775 (Gantt). This bill would require that any person convicted of DWI, after having been convicted of DWI within the previous five years, be sentenced to either a minimum five day term of imprisonment or 30 days of community service. The bill also would require that any person convicted of DWI, after having been convicted of such offense on two or more occasions within the previous five years, be sentenced to either a minimum ten day term of imprisonment or 60 days of community service.

    The bill also would require courts sentencing such persons to require the installation of approved ignition interlock devices on each motor vehicle owned by such persons, to remain installed during any period of license revocation and, upon termination of such revocation period, for an additional period as determined by the court. Finally, the bill would require courts to order such persons to receive an assessment of the degree of their alcohol abuse and, where treatment is indicated, the bill would authorize courts to impose treatment as a condition of a sentence.

    Ignition Interlock Extension
    (A.8939, Rules/Gantt; Chapter 86, Laws of 2001)

    In the past, the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA) has stated that the use of the ignition interlock device can help prevent recidivism among defendants convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or other alcohol-related offenses. Assembly bill 8939 (Rules/Gantt) would extend the sunset date of the ignition interlock program for two more years, to allow courts and local probation departments to gain more experience in the use of interlock devices and permit DPCA and DMV to gather additional data to report to the Governor and the Legislature.

  4. Traffic Safety -- School Transportation

    School Bus Attendant Training
    (A.2786-A, Weisenberg; Passed Assembly)

    Currently, school bus attendants receive no training to handle disabled students despite the fact that one of the responsibilities of an attendant is to render assistance in the transportation of these students. Although school bus drivers receive some training in this regard, the driver's primary responsibility is the safe operation of the bus.

    To ensure that school bus attendants learn appropriate techniques in handling medical emergencies that might arise, the Assembly passed A.2786-A (Weisenberg). This bill would require the Commissioner of Education to promulgate rules and regulations requiring every school bus attendant serving disabled pupils to receive school bus safety training and instruction relating to the special needs of such pupils. The bill would require that the training include guidance on the proper techniques for assisting such pupils in boarding and exiting school buses, and instruction on CPR and other first aid techniques. The bill also would require attendants to demonstrate an ability to perform procedures necessary in emergency situations as deemed appropriate by the Commissioner.

    The bill would provide time for persons employed as school bus attendants on the effective date of the bill to undergo the necessary training, which would have to be completed by July 1, 2003. Persons hired after the effective date would be required to complete training prior to assuming their duties.

    Stop-Arms
    (A.7171-A, Sanders; Chapter 430, Laws of 2001)

    DMV estimates that approximately 50,000 motorists illegally pass stopped school buses throughout New York State every day. In the last four years, 35 students were hit, one of whom was killed, by motorists passing stopped school buses. While New York's record on school bus safety is exemplary, these statistics are unacceptable.

    In an attempt to make stopped school buses even more visible to motorists, Chapter 430 of the Laws of 2001 (Assembly bill 7171-A, Sanders) requires all school buses designed with a capacity of 45 persons or more and manufactured for use in this State after September 1, 2002 to be equipped with a second stop arm located on the driver's side near the rear of the bus.

    Bus Driver License Suspension
    (A.7575, Sanders; Chapter 475, Laws of 2001)

    Persons convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired are subject to the suspension or revocation of their drivers' licenses, depending on the level of the offense and whether they are a first time or repeat offender. Many offenders are eligible to receive a conditional use license after successful completion of the Drinking Driver Program, which entitles them to operate a vehicle under limited circumstances, including the operation of a non-commercial motor vehicle during the hours of employment if the job entails such operation.

    While the law bans the operation of a commercial motor vehicle with a conditional use license, some offenders have received certificates of relief from civil disabilities, thereby giving them a restricted right to drive incidental to their jobs. Because drivers of buses and school buses are directly responsible for the safety of their passengers, the Legislature has enacted legislation to eliminate the ability of DWI/DWAI offenders from driving buses and school buses after the receipt of such certificates. Chapter 475 of the Laws of 2001 (A.7575, Sanders) imposes a statutory disqualification on the operation of a bus or school bus for the same period as an offender's driver's license is suspended or revoked for a DWI or DWAI offense. At a minimum, such disqualification would have to last six months.

  5. Department of Motor Vehicles

    Privacy -- Vehicle Registration Records
    (A.41, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Current law authorizes DMV to contract every two years with the highest responsible bidder to furnish certain information from the entire vehicle registration file, including the registrant's name and address, the vehicle's make, model, year, weight, body style, number of passengers and cylinders, fuel, license number, type of registration and transaction, validation and expiration date, and vehicle identification number.

    Upon the registrant's request, the law requires DMV to delete this information from the contractor's records for all purposes except the issuance of safety recalls, warranty or similar notices, and for statistical compilations. Individuals often may not know that this personal information is for sale, nor what steps they need to take in order to achieve deletion of their information.

    Assembly bill 41 (Cahill) would prohibit DMV from furnishing information on any registrant unless the registrant has provided his or her express consent to such disclosure.

    Dealer Franchise Act
    (A.4631-A, DiNapoli; Chapter 369, Laws of 2001)

    Article 17-A of the VTL, known as the "Franchised Motor Vehicle Dealer Act, " bans certain "unfair" business practices and unreasonable restrictions by franchisors, establishes obligations of dealers prior to delivery to retail buyers, sets forth procedures relating to warranties, and provides guidelines for assistance to dealership facilities upon the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of a franchise. The purpose of this Act is to regulate motor vehicle manufacturers, distributors and dealers in order to "prevent frauds, impositions and other abuses" on the State's citizens, and to "protect and preserve the investments and properties of the citizens" of the State.

    Because this law was enacted in 1983 and was last modified in 1992, motor vehicle dealers requested that the law be updated to address an evolving "pattern of abuses" by franchisors that had developed over the past nine years. Their concerns about franchisor practices involved the issuance of unwarranted letters claiming that certain dealerships were not economically viable businesses; arbitrary refusals to renew franchise agreements; inequitable product distribution; and unfair competition.

    Assembly bill 4631-A (DiNapoli), negotiated over a two year period and enacted as Chapter 369 of the Laws of 2001, makes numerous changes to the Dealer Franchise Act. These changes include additional restrictions on franchisors such as a provision prohibiting franchisors from withholding, from a franchisee, any new motor vehicle product of the same line make as the franchisee is authorized to sell. The law also bars franchisors from selling, leasing or offering to sell or lease a new motor vehicle to anyone other than a franchisee, with the exception of current or retired employees of the franchisor or members of their immediate family.

    Franchisors are now prohibited from conducting a warranty or sales incentive audit and holding a franchisee liable for charges more than one year from the date the franchisor paid for such warranty work, or more than eighteen months from the date such sales incentives were paid.

    The new law deems it an unreasonable restriction on the sale or transfer of a dealership for a franchisor to refuse to approve the sale or transfer of a dealership due to the fact that the dealership owns, has an investment in, participates in the management of, or holds a franchise for the sale or service of another line make of motor vehicle, or the dealership has established another franchise in the same dealership facilities prior to the bill's effective date.

    Franchisors are barred from selling, either directly or indirectly, motor vehicles, parts, warranties or services at prices lower than those charged to other dealerships, and as well as barred from selling to consumers directly at retail any original equipment manufacturer's parts at prices which are lower than those charged to dealerships.

    The law also bans "company stores" by prohibiting franchisors from acquiring any interest in franchised motor vehicle dealerships on and after the bill's effective date, with limited exceptions.

    Repair Shop Restitution
    (A.8840, Paulin; Chapter 356, Laws of 2001)

    Articles 12-A and 16 of the VTL regulate motor vehicle repair shops and motor vehicle dealers, respectively. If a repair shop or dealer is found in violation of the VTL or the Commissioner's regulations pursuant to a hearing, administrative law judges (ALJs) frequently give the facility the option of paying a civil penalty or making the complainant whole by paying restitution. The civil penalty is generally larger than the restitution owed. However, under existing law, if restitution is not paid within 30 days of an ALJ's finding, restitution may never be paid by the facility.

    If a facility fails to pay a civil penalty, DMV files a judgment with the appropriate county clerk against such facility. In order to have the judgment expunged, the facility often will pay the civil penalty. Unfortunately DMV cannot deduct from the civil penalty the amount of restitution owed and transmit it to the injured complainant.

    Assembly bill 8840 (Paulin; Chapter 356, Laws of 2001) directs DMV to assist in compensating the complainant for his or her financial loss by deducting the amount of restitution from the civil penalty, and then mailing a check for that amount to the complainant. This would serve the laudable purpose of assisting citizens who have suffered a financial loss due to the unlawful practices of repair shops and dealers.

    Railroad Crossing and Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety
    (A.8841, Lafayette; Chapter 422, Laws of 2001)

    On September 2, 1999, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) promulgated two new regulations to reduce crashes at railroad crossings. These regulations require states to impose strict sanctions on drivers of certain commercial motor vehicles who fail to stop, exercise due caution, or invoke safety measures when approaching a railroad crossing as required by federal regulation.

    The safety measures require drivers of such vehicles to check for a clear track and determine if there is sufficient undercarriage clearance and/or sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping.

    In order to comply with federal requirements, and avoid the potential loss of federal highway assistance, the Legislature enacted Chapter 422 (A.8841, Lafayette). This new law expands the types of vehicles required to stop at railroad grade crossings to include motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds transporting division 2.3 chlorine or is a cargo tank (loaded or empty) used to transport hazardous materials. Also required to stop are motor vehicles required to be marked or placarded by the USDOT or NYSDOT.

    The law also requires operators of every motor vehicle used in commerce with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds which is not otherwise subject to such requirements, to drive slowly enough when approaching a railroad grade crossing to be able to stop before reaching the nearest crossing, and prohibits driving over such crossing until due caution has been taken to ascertain that the course is clear.

    Finally, the law requires DMV to suspend the commercial driver's license of any holder convicted of failing to stop or slowly approach railroad grade crossings, for the following periods: 60 days for a first violation, 120 days for a second violation within three years, and one year for a third violation within a three year period.

    Low Speed Vehicles
    (A.8892, Gantt; Chapter 585, Laws of 2002)

    At least two motor vehicle manufacturers have begun manufacturing "low speed vehicles," which run on rechargeable batteries and have a thirty mile range. Similar to golf carts, they have a top speed of 25 mph and are equipped with brakes, headlights, taillights, turn signals, safety glass windshields, three point seat belts, child seat anchors and windshield wipers. Manufacturers are marketing them for use in local neighborhoods, planned communities, commercial campuses, places of higher education, vacation resorts, and golf courses, among others. However, absent an amendment, the law barred the operation of low-speed vehicles on public roadways because current law did not allow for them to be either registered or inspected.

    Chapter 585 of the Laws of 2001 (Assembly bill 8892, Gantt) requires the registration of such vehicles, if used on public roadways, as limited use automobiles and subjects them to equipment, inspection, and insurance requirements. The new law prohibits the operation of low speed vehicles on any public highway with a speed limit in excess of 35 mph, except for crossing such highways where they intersect with a highway posted at 35 mph or less. The law also prohibits such operation where, in the interest of public safety, a local authority or the New York State DOT has prohibited the operation of such vehicles.

  6. Disabled Access

    Parking Space Access Aisle Width
    (A.4625-A, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Access aisles that lie adjacent to parking spaces accessible to the disabled are there for the purpose of allowing disabled persons, many times wheelchair users, to get into and out of their vehicles. Since wheelchair-accessible vehicles generally are equipped with ramps or lifts which extend for a distance out the side door of these vehicles, access aisles must be wide enough to accommodate this equipment. Some access aisles, however, are too narrow to accomplish this purpose.

    Assembly bill 4625-A (Cahill) would codify the current State Fire and Building Code requirement that both disabled parking spaces and access aisles each be a minimum of eight feet in width. This provision would be required only if a person or entity creates a new off-street parking lot, or repaves or repaints more than fifty percent of the total number of parking spaces within an off-street lot, or repaves or repaints more than fifty percent of the total number of disabled parking spaces within an off-street lot.

    Parking Space Access Aisle Signs
    (A.4626-A, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Access aisles adjacent to disabled parking spaces are sometimes blocked by the vehicles of drivers using such access aisles to park. Thus, disabled drivers and/or occupants often are prevented from accessing their vehicles upon their return. Assembly bill 4626-A (Cahill) would require that each such access aisle be posted with a "NO PARKING ANYTIME" sign, as well as be marked with four-inch wide diagonal stripes at a forty-five degree angle, spaced two feet on the center.

    This provision would be required only if a person or entity creates a new off-street parking lot, or repaves or repaints more than fifty percent of the total number of parking spaces within an off-street lot, or repaves or repaints more than fifty percent of the total number of disabled parking spaces within an off-street lot.

    Parking Spaces
    (A.5249, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Current law requires persons, firms or corporations owning a shopping center or facility with at least five separate retail stores and at least 20 off-street parking spaces for use by the shopping public to designate, for exclusive use by the disabled, a minimum of 5% or ten spaces, whichever is less.

    In an effort to further improve access by the disabled, the Assembly passed legislation to increase the number of facilities required to designate parking spaces for disabled use (A.5249, Cahill). Under the legislation, facilities with at least three separate retail stores and at least 20 off-street parking spaces for use by the shopping public would have to designate disabled parking spaces by July 1, 2002. This proposal would require facilities with one retail store with at least 20 off-street parking spaces to designate such spaces by July 1, 2004.

    Wheelchair Accident Statistics
    (A.5250, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Certain federal laws require transportation providers to transport disabled students and adults in their own wheelchairs. In the United States, an estimated 4000 wheelchair occupants were injured in motor vehicle-related accidents while being transported. In New York State, however, there is no way to easily determine the number of wheelchair-bound individuals injured in motor vehicle-related accidents. Since this information is not required to be included on motor vehicle accident report forms, it is not included in DMV's annual summary of motor vehicle accidents.

    Assembly bill 5250(Cahill) would require DMV to include in its annual summary of motor vehicle accidents, beginning in 2002, information relating to whether a passenger was being transported in a wheelchair, whether such passenger sustained injuries, the position the wheelchair was facing, and whether any components of the wheelchair contributed to the injuries of any person.

    Rental Vehicle Access
    (A.5568, DiNapoli; Passed Assembly)

    While several large vehicle rental agencies offer the option of portable, temporarily installed hand controls or other mechanical devices to allow a vehicle's use by the disabled, this option generally is available only on medium and/or high price category vehicles. Assembly bill 5568 (DiNapoli) would require car rental companies with fleets of 100 or more vehicles to offer, at no additional charge, portable hand controls or other mechanical devices for use by disabled persons on all price and size categories of vehicles. If a class of vehicle is requested which is unable to accommodate the controls or devices, the rental company would be required to provide a vehicle that could, at a rate equal to that of the vehicle requested. The bill would allow companies to require 48 hours prior notice.

    __________________
    1People v. Cucinello, 183 Misc2d 50 (App. Term, 2d Dept. 1999)
    2People v. Widrick, 185 Misc.2d 765, 713 NYS2d 847 (September 25, 2000).


III. PUBLIC HEARINGS


Cell Phone Motor Vehicle and Health Safety Issues
Rochester, April 6, 2001
Albany, April 17, 2001
New York City, April 26, 2001

    Since their introduction into the marketplace, cellular telephones have grown in popularity. According to a 2000 report of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), almost 90 million people subscribe to wireless telephone services nationwide. The increasing use of cell phones has raised a number of public health and safety issues. These range from concerns that cell phone use while driving is a major distraction which can increase the likelihood of a fatal or serious injury crash, to concerns that the exposure of cell phone users and the public to radio-frequency radiation from the phones and the base stations can increase cancer risk.

    Cell phones can improve highway safety by reducing emergency response times, thus getting accidents cleared from roads sooner and providing faster medical attention to injured parties. However, various studies have raised questions about the dangers posed by drivers' use of cell phones, including a 1997 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which indicated that cell phone use increases a driver's risk of collision.

    To assist in sorting through the various issues and concerns raised regarding the use of cell phones while driving, a series of three joint public hearing was held by the Assembly Committees on Transportation, Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Health and Codes. Witnesses included the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the New York City Mayor's Office of Transportation, a supervisor from the Town of Brighton (Monroe County), a Suffolk County legislator, the cellular telephone industry, cellular telephone equipment manufacturers, and the American Motorcyclists Association, among others.

    Testimony was presented regarding the issue of driver distraction and its causes and effects, along with whether, and to what extent, it can be determined that cell phone use by drivers contributes to driver distraction and motor vehicle crashes. Some witnesses testified that cell phones definitely contributed to motor vehicle crashes, while others indicated that there was insufficient crash data to come to a definitive conclusion.

    On June 28, 2001, Chapter 69 of the Laws of 2001 was signed into law. Taking effect on December 1, 2001, this new law (A.9280, Ortiz) bans motor vehicle operators from driving while talking or listening on a handheld mobile telephone. The law does not ban holding a mobile telephone to dial it, or to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of it while driving, nor does it ban the use of a mobile telephone with a hands-free device. The law also does not apply to police or peace officers, members of fire departments, districts or companies, or emergency vehicle operators during the performance of their official duties. Emergency calls to any of the following also are exempted from the handheld ban: 911 (emergency response operators), a hospital, physician's office or health clinic, an ambulance company or corps, a fire department, district or company, or a police department.

    Violations are subject to a maximum $100 fine, and police officers are authorized to stop and issue verbal warnings to motorists from November 1 to November 30, 2001. Courts, until March 1, 2002, are required to waive fines for first-time offenders who present evidence to the court that they possess a hands-free mobile telephone.

    Finally, because of the dearth of data regarding distracted driving, the new law requires DMV to gather statistics on motor vehicle accidents for which distracted driving is a contributing factor, and to submit a report with recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature no later than December 1, 2005.



IV. OUTLOOK FOR 2002

    In the wake of the events of this year, the Committee will be concerned with reviewing and, if needed, taking action on safety and security issues which might need addressing with respect to the transportation infrastructure throughout the State, from the highway and bridge infrastructure, to rail, transit, port, and airport facilities.

    Issues relating to the human component of the transportation system will remain one of the primary issues that the Committee will focus on during 2002. Driver performance is critical to the safety of all users of the roadways, so issues such as distraction, drowsiness, DWI/DWAI, fatigue, aggressiveness, medical impairment, and basic driving ability will continue to be under review, for both passenger and commercial vehicle operators.

    The Committee also will continue work on addressing safety and mobility issues for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, transit users, and others. With congestion remaining a problem in certain areas of the State, alternatives for traveling to work, school, shopping, medical appointments, and recreation become even more critical.

    As always, the Committee will examine additional issues brought to its attention by legislators, staff, and, most importantly, the people of the State of New York.




FINAL ACTION

ASSEMBLY
BILLS

SENATE
BILLS

TOTAL
BILLS


Bills Reported With or Without Amendment

To Floor; not returning to Committee

12

0

12

To Floor; recommitted and died

0

0

0

To Ways and Means

47

0

47

To Codes

80

0

80

To Rules

18

0

18

To Judiciary

0

0

0

        Total

157

0

157


Bills having Committee Reference Changed
To Education Committee

1

0

1


        Total

1

0

1


Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled
Substituted
 

16

16

Recalled
 

1

1


        Total
 

17

17


Bills Defeated in Committee
 

 

 

Bills Never Reported, Held in Committee

520

52

572

Bills Never Reported, Died in Committee
     
Bills Having Enacting Clauses Stricken

18

0

18

Motion to Discharge Lost

     
      TOTAL BILLS IN COMMITTEE

696

69

765


Total Number of Committee Meetings Held

14

   



BILL/SPONSOR DESCRIPTION ACTION
A.905 Parment
S.705 Johnson
Requires the Thruway Authority to establish a separate toll rate for motorcycles, which is less than that charged to passenger and commercial vehicles. Vetoed, Memo 25
A.1199-B Dinowitz
S.1078-B Fuschillo
Requires persons under age 14 operating 2-wheeled vehicles known as scooters to wear helmets. Chapter 402
A.2135-A Matusow
S.5420 Kuhl
Directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue distinctive "Drive Out Diabetes" license plates. Chapter 339
A.2226-A Smith
S.140-A Volker
Authorizes the Department of Transportation to produce and sell traffic control devices to local governments. Chapter 122
A.2701 Morelle
S.1137 Alesi
Renames a portion of Route 441 in Monroe County as the "Korean War Memorial Highway." Chapter 250
A.3324 Stringer
S.2231 Padavan
Authorizes parking violations bureaus to impose treble fines where previous parking violations were dismissed due to fraud. Chapter 409
A.4155-A Calhoun
S.2227-A Morahan
Authorizes the Thruway Authority to increase the maximum speed limit to 65 mph on that portion of the Thruway between interchanges 15 and 16 (Catskill area). Chapter 309
A.4156-A> Canestrari
S.2221-A Johnson
Requires police investigations of fatal or serious injury accidents involving motorcycles. Chapter 408
A.4631-A DiNapoli
S.5299-A Johnson
Establishes rights of motor vehicle franchisees and franchisors. Chapter 369
A.4651-B Tocci
S.3146-B Morahan
Establishes more uniform fees for distinctive license plates issued to veterans and members of veterans organizations. Chapter 415
A.5168 Robach
S.1136 Alesi
Requires that pre-licensing and defensive driving courses contain a component of "road rage" awareness education. Chapter 536
A.5332 Gromack
S.514-A Morahan
Renames a portion of the NYS Thruway as the "Jewish War Veterans Memorial Highway." Chapter 245
A.5608 Nortz
S.2678 Wright
Renames a portion of State Route 12 in the counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis and Oneida as the "POW-MIA Memorial Highway." Chapter 96
A.5831 Magnarelli
S.3527 Trunzo
Makes a technical correction regarding an incorrect reference to the Insurance Law on signs required to be posted in motor vehicle repair shops. Chapter 130
A.5864-A Gunther
S.3077-A McGee
Directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue distinctive "Ag (Agriculture) in the Classroom" license plates. Chapter 314
A.6498 Thiele
S.3269 Lavalle
Renames a portion of State Route 114 in Suffolk County as the "Lost At Sea Memorial Pike." Chapter 263
A.6570-A Gantt
S.1992-A Farley
Eliminates the conviction stub on drivers' licenses. Chapter 406
A.6572-A Gantt
S.2675-A Seward
Changes the formula used to assess fees on self-insurers paid to the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Fund. Chapter 232
A.6765-A Tokasz
S.3127-A Rath
Changes the type of endorsement necessary to transport steel coils. Chapter 260
A.6804-B Carrozza
S.4061-A Padavan
Renames a pedestrian bridge at 46th Avenue in Queens, spanning the Clearview Expressway, as "Christopher's Crossing." Chapter 194
A.6819 Vitaliano
S.1763 Marchi
Would have authorized traffic in Richmond County to make right-hand turns at red lights. Vetoed, Memo 27
A.6968-B Vitaliano
S.3382-B Marchi
Provides an immediate 5% increase in Sandy Hook pilots' fees, and an additional 10% increase beginning July 1, 2002. Chapter 107
A.7171-A Sanders
S.5545Fuschillo
Requires all school buses designed to seat 45 persons or more and manufactured for use in NYS on and after January 1, 2002 to be equipped with a second stop arm. Chapter 430
A.7321-A DiNapoli
S.3878-A Skelos
Authorizes the appointment of village court justices as judicial hearing officers for the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency. Chapter 420
A.7524-A D'Andrea
S.3438-A Stafford
Renames portions of State Routes 32 and 22, and US Route 4, as the "Champlain Canal Byway." Chapter 494
A.7575 Sanders
S.704 Goodman
Disqualifies bus and school bus drivers from operating such vehicles for the same period of time that their licenses are suspended for a DWI/DWAI conviction in their personal vehicle. Chapter 475
A.7765-A Bacalles
S.4211 Kuhl
Authorizes the Town of Erwin, Steuben County, to finance an extension of a certain road improvement. Chapter 321
A.8353-A Casale
S.4168-A Bruno
Directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue distinctive license plates to members of the Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association. Chapter 501
A.8521-A Rules/Morelle
S.434-A DeFrancisco
Directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue distinctive "I Love NY" license plates. Chapter 304
A.8575-A Rules/Weisenberg
S.5066-A Johnson
Modifies provisions requiring the use of reflective tape on school buses. Chapter 425
A.8840 Rules/Paulin
S.4600 Trunzo
Directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to make restitution from civil penalties paid by motor vehicle repair shops. Chapter 356
A.8841 Rules/Lafayette
S.4599 Trunzo
Provides periods of suspension on commercial drivers' licenses for failure to slow or stop at railroad grade crossings. Chapter 422
A.8842 Rules/Gantt
S.4675 Trunzo
Authorizes the Department of Transportation to enter into cooperative contracts with adjoining nations, provinces and the federal government. Chapter 117
A.8856 Rules/Gantt
S.4672 Trunzo
Clarifies the method for measuring the distance between rear axles and the king pin connection of semitrailers. Chapter 451
A.8892 Rules/Gantt
S.5290-A Johnson
Provides for the registration and operation of low-speed vehicles. Chapter 585
A.8930 Rules/Gantt
S.5529 McGee
Extends until October 1, 2002 the provisions of law requiring the suspension of a driver's license for certain drug-related offenses; extends until October 1, 2002 the provisions of law requiring the suspension of drivers' licenses pending prosecution for certain DWI offenses. Chapter 242
A.8939 Rules/Gantt
S.5525 McGee
Extends the ignition interlock program until July 1, 2003. Chapter 86
A.9062 Rules/Cahill
S.5370 Bonacic
Requires certain trucks to be equipped with cross-view back up mirrors, or other technology to view the area behind such trucks. Chapter 83
A.9239 Rules/Magnarelli
S.5588 DeFrancisco
Authorizes the Department of Transportation to increase the maximum speed limit to 65 mph on certain portions of I-690, Rt 695, and Rt 5. Chapter 347




BILL / SPONSOR DESCRIPTION
A.41 Cahill Would prohibit DMV from providing registration lists and title information without the registrant's consent.
A.69 Gantt Would authorize localities to regulate traffic on roadways and driveways within condominium and cooperative apartment complexes.
A.90 Gantt Would limit DMV's authorization to suspend licenses and registrations for submission of a bad check to the particular license or registration for which such check was submitted.
A.801 Brodsky Would shift the cost of traffic control devices located at entrances to schools from localities to the State.
A.845-A Brodsky
S.4185-A Spano
Would reestablish the Westchester Parkway Commission, to monitor the operation and maintenance of such Parkway.
A.882-A Tonko
S.1126 Trunzo
Would require DMV to implement a highway user assistance plan.
A.907 Cahill Would require DMV to imprint "ORGAN DONOR" on the front of driver's licenses issued to persons opting to make anatomical gifts.
A.910 Luster Would reduce the fee for submitting a bad check to DMV from $35 to $20.
A.924 Tokasz
S.4285 Volker
Would direct the Thruway Authority and DOT to provide signage for truck parking.
A.1098 Dinowitz Would require parking violations bureaus (PVBs) to return the amount of any fines paid for a parking violation within 30 days of entry of a judgment overturning the charge. Also would require a PVB to pay a penalty for failure to make timely payment.
A.1247-A Lafayette
S.826-A Goodman
Would require motor vehicle repair shops to notify every customer of their right to inspect repair performed on their motor vehicle.
A.1262-A McEneny
S.419-A Skelos
Would require motor vehicle passengers between the ages of four and seven to be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system.
A.1923-A Colman
S.5677 Saland
Would authorize DMV to provide a uniform method for identifying vehicles participating in a funeral procession.
A.2162 E.C. Sullivan Would require DMV to include in its annual report on accident statistics information on bicycle safety helmet usage.
A.2590-A McLaughlin Would increase fines for obstructing access to a fire hydrant during an emergency operation.
A.2637 Schimminger
S.1632 Maziarz
Would require the suspension of boating privileges for certain DWI violations, and allow suspension of driving privileges for certain BWI violations.
A.2786-A Weisenberg
S.1766-A Lavalle
Would require training for school bus attendants.
A.3003 Tokasz
S.5459 McGee
Would require the payment of mandatory DWI surcharges to the STOP-DWI program in the county wherein the offense occurred.
A.3032 Lafayette
A.3811 Seward
Would require DMV to notify the insurers of recovered stolen vehicles when the owner cannot be found.
A.3034 Lafayette Would require the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to charge fees to out-of-state entities that are the same as the fees charged by other states to New York State entities for providing information.
A.3300 Brennan Would require DMV to credit the unused portion of a vehicle registration fee applicable to a stolen vehicle to another vehicle owned by the registrant and registered at a subsequent time.
A.3509 Galef
S.3701 Maziarz
Would prohibit the use of combination blue and red lights on fire vehicles.
A.3511-A Gantt Would authorize the use of booster seats for children who are under age four but exceed the size requirements for child safety seats.
A.3512-B Gantt Would prohibit the operation of a pick-up truck with passengers under age 18 in the cargo area, with limited exceptions.
A.3513 Glick Would expand upon the State's system of graduated licensing of drivers under age 18.
A.3622 Brennan Would establish administrative remedies for persons whose vehicles are wrongfully towed.
A.3669 Perry
S.5487 M. Smith
Would direct DMV to issue distinctive license plates for the New York City auxiliary police.
A.4075 Tonko
S.2208 Farley
Would require the Thruway Authority to implement a tourism information demonstration program.
A.4106 Grannis
S.2196 Lachman
Would prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle with children under age seven seated in the front seat, with limited exceptions.
A.4164 Sweeney
S.2222 Johnson
Would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish an engineering and technician career development, recruitment and retention program.
Towns Would direct the Governor's Traffic Safety Commission (GTSC) to initiate a public outreach program on child safety seats.
A.4300-A Glick
S.2666-A Trunzo
Would require motorists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians under certain conditions.
A.4340-A Weisenberg Would require those vessels which are exempt from displaying NYS vessel registration numbers to display the appropriate number prescribed by federal regulation.
A.4501 Norman Would direct DMV to establish rules and regulations for postponement of traffic hearings pursuant to statutory standards.
A.4625-A Cahill Would codify the requirement that access aisles of disabled parking spaces measure at least eight feet in width.
A.4626-A Cahill Would require that access aisles of disabled parking spaces be marked with "NO PARKING ANYTIME" signs and diagonal stripes.
A.5249 Cahill Would require retail stores having off street parking to provide parking spaces for disabled access.
A.5250 Cahill Would require DMV to include information regarding wheelchairs in the annual summary of motor vehicle statistics.
A.5568 DiNapoli Would require provision of portable mechanical devices for disabled persons on rental vehicles.
A.5705 Englebright Would authorize DOT and the Division of State Police to conduct a study of traffic light synchronization on Long Island.
A.6144-A McEneny
S.3176-A Breslin
Would authorize the City of Albany to establish a residential permit parking system.
A.6571-B Gantt
S.844-A Maziarz
Would authorize DOT to increase the maximum speed limit to 65 mph on portions of State Route 531 in Monroe County.
A.6572-A Gantt
S.2675-A Seward
Would replace the current $1.50 per vehicle charge levied upon each self-insured for-hire vehicle for payment into the uninsured motorist fund, with an amount to be determined by the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation.
A.6736 Levy Would require DMV to provide space on driver's licenses and non-driver ID cards for information on persons to contact in the event of an emergency.
A.6907-A Tocci Would designate a bridge in the hamlet of Apalachin as the "Delmar D. Sibley, S 1/c USN Memorial Bridge."
A.7051 Lafayette Would authorize the cancellation of a bond or insurance policy, issued on a for-hire vehicle, within 15 days of the date notice is filed with DMV, if such cancellation is based on the discovery of fraud or material misrepresentation in the obtaining of coverage, or the presentation of a claim.
A.7196-C M. Cohen
S.4042-C Maltese
Would permit pleas of guilty to traffic infractions, including jaywalking, within the City of New York.
A.8424 Rules (Gantt) Would modify the ranges of blood alcohol concentration levels for determining the levels of impairment of commercial vehicle drivers.
A.8429 Rules (Gantt) Would reduce the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level used to deem a motor vehicle operator to be intoxicated as a matter of law, from .10% to .08%.
A.8430 Rules (Gantt) Would require certain DWI offenders to submit to alcohol/drug abuse screening, assessment, and treatment if deemed necessary.
A.8746-A Rules (Dinowitz)
S.5445-A DeFrancisco
Would require DMV to determine the degree to which an identification card issued by the U.S. Veterans Administration may be used as proof of name and/or age for the issuance of a driver's license or non-driver identification card.
A.8775 Rules (Gantt) Would impose higher penalties on persons convicted of repeat driving while intoxicated offenses.
A.8846 Rules (Robach)
S.4602 Trunzo
Would replace the "Combat Auto Theft" program with the federally-funded "Watch Your Car" program.
AS.5644 Trunzo Would clarify that both lap and shoulder belts must be worn to comply with the seat belt law, when a seating position is equipped with both such belts.


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