New York State Assembly
ANNUAL REPORT

Committee on Transportation

David F.
Gantt,
CHAIR

Sheldon
Silver
SPEAKER




December 15, 2003


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 2003 Annual Report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation.

The Committee considered many important pieces of legislation during the 2003 Legislative Session, and was successful in obtaining the enactment of a number of bills affecting the motoring public, enhancing the safety of the State's roadways and waterways, and improving the health and safety of the general public.

While the majority of New York's motor vehicle occupants now "buckle up," it can be difficult to do so in a taxicab or livery in which the seatbelts are missing, inaccessible, or not working. Motor vehicle occupant protection will be enhanced with the enactment of a bill designed to encourage the use of seat belts in for-hire vehicles such as taxicabs and liveries and to require that for-hire vehicle seat belts be available, accessible and maintained in good working order.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranks New York the second lowest in the nation, behind Utah, in the rate of alcohol-involved traffic fatalities in 2002. While this is an exemplary safety record, more remains to be done to prevent alcohol and drug-related fatalities and serious injuries. To that end, the Committee supported a budget amendment to change the effective date of the new .08 BAC law from November 1 to July 1. The Committee also advanced legislation to extend for two years the laws mandating license suspension for drug-related crimes as well as at the arraignment of persons charged with DWI or DWAI by drugs; to authorize the suspension of the driver's license of persons convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) and requiring the suspension of boating privileges upon a DWI conviction; to create the new crime of aggravated DWI for motorists whose BACs are .20 or more with increased penalties therefor, and to establish substance abuse assessment and treatment procedures for offenders.

The Committee also oversaw changes made in the 2003-2004 Budget to various provisions of law relating to public safety and health. Provisions in the budget amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law to facilitate the enforcement of a law requiring heavy duty vehicles to undergo emissions inspections by clarifying the authority of police officers to issue tickets for violations. Other amendments require criminal history background checks on haulers of hazardous materials, impose an additional $25 surcharge on DWI violations, and increase by 50% the fines imposed for certain traffic violations.

Recreational boating is a very popular pastime in New York State, with almost 530,000 mechanical vessels registered and untold numbers of non-mechanical vessels taking to the State's waterways. In 2001, there were 288 "reportable" boating accidents which resulted in 25 deaths, 140 personal injuries, and over $1.1 million in property damage. Because of a confusing provision of law, questions were raised as to the time frame within which boaters are required to report personal injury accidents. Therefore, the Committee moved legislation to clarify that such accidents must be reported to the authorities immediately, or as soon as physically able.

Since 1995, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Thruway Authority have had statutory authority to post a maximum 65 mph speed limit on various specified limited access highways. The authorizing statute (Chapter 72, Laws of 1995), which contained a sunset provision that the Legislature extended to 2005, had been subsequently amended to allow DOT and the Thruway Authority to post such 65 mph speed limits on additional specified highways. Given evidence that highway safety had not been compromised due to the increased speed limit, the Legislature this year made the law permanent, and granted authority to DOT and the Thruway Authority to post 65 mph speed limits on highways or segments thereof under their respective jurisdictions which meet the criteria established by such agencies.

As always, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Committee for their support of, and contributions to, this year's legislative efforts. I also wish to express my gratitude to the State agencies for their assistance and cooperation, and to 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 2003 Session. With your continued leadership, we look forward to a productive Session in 2004.

Sincerely,


David F. Gantt, Chairman
Assembly Standing Committee
on Transportation




2003 ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION


David F. Gantt, Chairman


Committee Members

Majority

Ivan C. Lafayette
Paul D. Tonko
Robert K. Sweeney
Ronald J. Canestrari
Harvey Weisenberg
Alexander Gromack
Sam Hoyt
N. Nick Perry
Darryl Towns
Brian M. McLaughlin
Richard A. Smith
Brian M. Higgins
John W. Lavelle
Frank R. Seddio
Darrel J. Aubertine
Michael J. Cusick
Minority

Dierdre K. Scozzafava
    Ranking Minority Member
Chris Ortloff
Pat M. Casale
Patrick R. Manning
James Bacalles
David G. McDonough
Staff

Sabrina M. Ty, Principal Legislative Coordinator
Julie A. Barney, Principal Analyst
Robert Cook, Counsel to the Chairman
William Thornton, Counsel
Guerlyne Gracia, Committee Assistant
Janet Crist, Committee Clerk
Laura Inglis, Program & Counsel Executive Secretary



TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

  2. 2003 LEGISLATIVE ACTION
    1. Traffic Safety
    2. Child Passenger Safety
    3. Intoxication and Impairment
    4. Boating Safety
    5. Disabled Access

  3. PUBLIC HEARINGS
  4. OUTLOOK FOR 2004

APPENDIX A: 2003 SUMMARY SHEET

APPENDIX B: BILLS WHICH PASSED BOTH HOUSES

APPENDIX C: BILLS THAT PASSED THE ASSEMBLY

APPENDIX D: VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW FINE INCREASES




  1. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY
  2. A.  Committee Jurisdiction

    New York State's transportation network consists of a number of different systems and modes to move people and goods. It includes a State and local highway and bridge system of almost 19,500 bridges and approximately 113,000 miles of highways, over which approximately 126.5 billion vehicle miles are driven annually. There are over 500 public and private aviation facilities, providing service to at least 60 million people annually. Six major public ports handle 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 boundaries 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. About 1.5 million riders use Amtrak's Empire and Adirondack services, over 8 million riders pass through Penn Station using Amtrak service with an origin or destination within New York State. The public transit and commuter rail system carries 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.

    B.  Summary of Committee Action

    The 2003 Legislative Session produced numerous changes in existing law, as well as numerous new laws covering a broad range of transportation issues. The 2002 statute reducing the driving while intoxicated threshold from .10% to .08% was amended to take effect July 1, 2003, and expanded to cover boating and snowmobiling while intoxicated statutes. The law governing leaving the scene of a boating accident was clarified and strengthened to deter persons from leaving such scenes and to expedite the provision of assistance to injured persons. Taxicab and livery vehicle passengers should be assured of greater safety with the enactment of a law requiring access to working seatbelts. Legislation was enacted to deter trucks from straying onto New York City residential streets, thereby improving the health and safety of residents.

    The Assembly also acted upon a package of bills to improve the traveling safety of some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The measures contained in this package would require children aged 4, 5 and 6 years to be restrained by an appropriate child safety restraint, and to be seated in the rear seat of vehicles; would prohibit children under the age of 18 from riding in the cargo area of vehicles, with limited exceptions; and would allow the use of booster seats for children under age four who have outgrown their child safety seats.



  1. 2003 LEGISLATIVE ACTION
  2. A.  Traffic Safety

    Taxis and Liveries
    (A.1466-B, Weisenberg; Chapter 495, Laws of 2003)

    Seventy-five percent of all taxi and livery crashes (in New York City) that are reported to DMV involve personal injury to vehicle occupants, pedestrians or bicyclists, as noted in a 2001 report on such crashes (the most recent year for which data is available.) In addition, taxi passengers are far more likely than other vehicle occupants to sustain relatively serious injuries when involved in a crash, because they are unlikely to be wearing seat belts, and possibly because of the presence of partitions.

    In an effort to prevent serious and fatal injuries from crashes involving taxicabs or livery vehicles, the Legislature enacted Chapter 495 of the Laws of 2003 (A.1466-B, Weisenberg). This new law requires all seatbelts in taxicabs and livery vehicles to be visible, accessible and maintained in good working order, and prohibits the removal of such seat belts from taxicabs and liveries. The new law also requires the posting of the following notice within taxicabs and liveries, in a manner which is legible and conspicuous to passengers in all seating locations: "Seatbelts must be available for your use. Please buckle up."

    Seatbelt Use
    (A.903, Lafayette; Passed Assembly)

    Statistics indicate that seat belt use has risen in New York State from 16% in 1984 (the year the seat belt law was enacted) to 83% currently. Thirty percent of individuals killed in traffic crashes were not wearing their seat belts, which is a greater factor than alcohol or excessive speed. The majority of unrestrained fatalities tend to occur among persons aged 16 to 44 years, although persons aged 45 and older suffer greater numbers of deaths due to not wearing a seat belt than those under age 16.

    There is a high personal and societal cost incurred from the failure of vehicle occupants to wear seat belts. Nationwide, society pays $14.3 billion per year in injury-related costs for persons not wearing seat belts. Of this, the injured pay 30% of the total costs, while everyone else pays the remaining 70% through higher vehicle and health insurance rates and through public assistance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

    In New York State, all front seat passengers are required to be properly restrained. However, in middle and/or rear seats, only persons under the age of 16 are required to wear seat belts. Assembly bill 903 would close the final gap in the law, by removing the age limitation on the statutory requirement to wear seat belts, so that all passengers age 16 and up seated in the middle or rear seating positions would be required to buckle up.

    Truck Routes
    (A.1433-A, Lentol; Chapter 203, Laws of 2003)

    Section 1640 of the VTL authorizes local governments to establish a system of truck routes within their respective jurisdictions, upon which all trucks with a total gross weight in excess of 10,000 pounds may travel, and to prohibit such trucks from using any roadway which is not included in such truck route system. Large trucks can pose significant public health and safety risks, and place a strain on infrastructure which is not designed to handle the weight. As cited in a report to the New York City Council Transportation Committee, the purpose of designating travel only on the truck route system is to minimize adverse consequences of truck traffic in residential neighborhoods. These consequences include exposure to toxic pollutants, noise, and damage to residential street pavement and infrastructure including utility lines.

    Problems have arisen in New York City with trucks traveling on roads which are not part of the truck route system. Chapter 203 of the Laws of 2003 seeks to address one component of ensuring truck usage of designated truck routes -- deterrence. The new law increases fines for violations within the City of New York as follows: for a first violation, from the current maximum $100 fine to a fine of $200 - $500; for a second violation within 18 months, from the current maximum $200 fine to a fine of $500 - $1,000; and for a third or subsequent violation within 18 months, from the current maximum $300 fine to a fine of $1,000 - $2,000.

    65 MPH Speed Limits
    (A.732, Gantt; Chapter 464, Laws of 2003)

    In 1995, an agreement was reached by the first Legislative Joint Conference Committee which resulted in the enactment of legislation to authorize DOT and the Thruway Authority to increase the maximum speed limit to 65 miles per hour (mph) on certain portions of the State's rural interstate highways deemed eligible by federal law (Chapter 72, Laws of 1995). Chapter 72 had a five year sunset provision, which was extended in 2000 for an additional five years. The measure also directed DOT and the Thruway Authority to conduct a four-year study of the effects of the increase on the general motoring public, the motor truck industry, driving safety, and compliance with the law. The study included pertinent statistical data prepared on an annual basis for each public highway for which the increase was authorized, including: the number of accidents, including the number of injuries; the number of accidents per million vehicle miles; the number of fatal accidents; the number of fatal accidents per hundred million vehicle miles; speed trend data and the estimated annual average daily traffic. This study, submitted prior to the extension of the statute in 2000, found no additional safety hazards attributable to the increase in the speed limit.

    Since the enactment of Chapter 72, the Legislature has approved the establishment of a maximum 65 mph speed limit on a number of other highways, and the federal government repealed the federal restrictions that had been imposed on States in the establishment of a 65 mph speed limit. Rather than continuing to expand this authority in a piecemeal fashion, the Legislature this year enacted legislation to authorize DOT and the Thruway to establish 65 mph speed limits on any facility under their respective jurisdictions, where the road in question meets DOT or Thruway criteria for the establishment of such a speed limit (A.732, Gantt; Chapter 464, Laws of 2003). Chapter 464 also repealed the sunset clause, thereby making this law permanent.

    Traffic Violation Fine Increases
    (A.2106-B, Budget; Chapter 62, Laws of 2003)

    The enactment of the 2003-04 fiscal year State budget included a 50% increase in the fines that are established for a number of different violations of the VTL. The affected violations range from speeding to running red lights, from driving without a license to operating an unregistered or uninsured motor vehicle. Other violations for which fines were increased include failing to yield to authorized emergency vehicles, operating a vehicle without an approved exhaust emission control system or with inadequate brakes or in violation of audio amplification limits, failing to notify DMV of a change of address, and general traffic infractions and misdemeanors under the VTL. Tables listing the actual fines for specific violations are located in Appendix D.

    Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles Emissions Inspections
    (A.2106-B, Budget; Chapter 62, Laws of 2003)

    The Legislature enacted the "Heavy Duty Vehicle Emissions Reduction Act" ("Act") in 1998 (Chapter 621) to address serious public health and environmental concerns. Referring to studies that concluded that particulate emissions from diesel-powered heavy duty vehicles have significant health impacts, the Legislature required the inspection of diesel-powered heavy duty vehicles to ascertain whether they exceeded emissions standards.

    As drafted, the Act did not provide authority for police officers to issue traffic tickets for violations. Part W1 of Chapter 62 of the Laws of 2003 amends the VTL to grant police officers the authority to issue tickets for the operation of a heavy duty vehicle which exceeds emissions levels set forth in law and regulation. This change should help strengthen enforcement efforts and provide greater incentive for heavy duty vehicle owners and operators to comply with the law. Part W1 also makes the Act permanent; when originally enacted, the Act had a five year sunset provision. Finally, Part W1 also clarifies penalty provisions applicable to these violations, to ensure that no criminal charges are brought where none were intended by the Legislature.

    B.  Child Passenger Safety

    Appropriate Child Restraint Systems
    (A.996, McEneny; Passed Assembly)

    The National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Research and Development published a technical report in March 2002 on fatalities and injuries to infants and children newborn to age 81, which found that the number of passenger vehicle occupants among children 0 to 8 years old had shifted relatively little from 923 in 1991 to 896 in 2000. While the overall number of annual fatalities decreased 9 percent within the 0 through 3 year old age range, the overall number of annual fatalities increased 3 percent within the 4 through 8 year old age range.

    Children outgrow most child safety seats when they weigh about 40 pounds, generally by the age of four or five. 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 to children in a crash, since children under 80 pounds and less than 58 inches tall are too small for them. The lap belt tends to ride up onto the abdomen, allowing the pelvis to slide under the belt, leading to direct pressure on, and injury to, internal organs. The shoulder belt can ride across the neck of small children, rather than their shoulder, leading to neck and spinal injuries.

    Groups ranging from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, 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 seats but who are too small for adult lap/shoulder belts.

    Accordingly, the Assembly passed A.996 (McEneny), which would prohibit the operation of motor vehicles unless all children aged four, five or six years 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 also define "appropriate child restraint system" to mean any such system for which the occupant meets the manufacturer's size and weight recommendations.

    A.996 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.613, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    NHTSA statistics indicate that since 1975, child restraint systems have saved more than 4,000 children. NHTSA contends 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 allow for 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 current law.

    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.613 would allow people transporting children who are not yet four years old but who weigh over forty pounds to use booster seats instead of child safety seats.

    Pick-Up Truck Cargo Areas
    (A.601, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    Increasingly, people have been purchasing trucks for personal use rather than for 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 die annually as a result of riding in the cargo area, and more than half of these deaths are of children and teenagers.

    Riding in the cargo area of a truck, whether it is 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 A.601 (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.4648, Grannis; Passed Assembly)

    The Air Bag Safety Campaign indicates that, 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 front passenger side air bag. Placing children in the back seat provides greater protection from 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.4648 (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.

    C.  Intoxication and Impairment

    .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration -- Motor Vehicles
    (A.2106-B, Budget; Chapter 62, Laws of 2003)
    (A.8928, Rules/Gantt; Chapter 153, Laws of 2003)
    (A.2500, Gantt; Chapter 236, Laws of 2003)

    Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2002 reduced the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at which a person would be deemed to have been driving while intoxicated (DWI) from .10 of one percent to .08 of one percent. In order to ensure complete compliance with federal requirements regarding this statutory change, the Legislature included a provision within Chapter 62 of the Laws of 2003 to change the effective date of Chapter 3 from November 1 to July 1, 2003.

    With the enactment of Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2002, the evidentiary level that is established in the law for determining driving while ability impaired (or "DWAI") needed modification. The law had established that a BAC level greater than .07 of one percent (.071%) but less than .08 of one percent (.079%) could be given prima facie effect in determining impairment. However, the regulations of the Department of Health do not allow for the use of a three-digit readout in measurements taken by breathalyzer machines. Therefore, absent a change, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sustain a charge of DWAI. Chapter 153 makes the necessary technical modifications, so that a BAC of .07% or more, but less than .08% is given prima facie effect in determining DWAI.

    A similar adjustment had to be made for BAC levels applicable to violations committed by drivers of commercial motor vehicles. Chapter 236 of the Laws of 2003 adjusts the per se violation levels from the current .071% - .079% (which, given the lack of a three-digit readout, results in no violation) to .061% - .079% (in essence, a readout of .07%).

    Boating While Intoxicated
    (A.6279-B, DiNapoli; Chapter 458, Laws of 2003)
    (A.1593, Schimminger; Passed Assembly)

    The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) reports that there were 284 reported boating accidents in New York State during 2002, with 26 deaths (up from 25 in 2001), 152 injuries (up from 144 in 2001) and over $1 million in property damage. OPRHP's statistics continue to indicate that alcohol involvement as a factor in boating accidents in New York State appears to be low. However, these statistics may be incomplete (for example, there may be under-reporting of accidents), and there are a number of accidents in which alcohol involvement is unknown.

    Assembly bill 6279-B (DiNapoli; Chapter 458 of the Laws of 2003) reduces from .10% to .08% the BAC level at which a person is deemed to be operating a boat while intoxicated (BWI). The new law also makes the necessary adjustments for determining if a person is boating while ability impaired (BWAI). With the enactment of this law, the per se alcohol intoxication level will be consistent with that of driving a motor vehicle.

    Assembly bill 1593 (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. This will address a loophole in current law which allows a person to operate one type of vehicle (a boat) when barred from operating another type of vehicle (car, truck or van).

    Snowmobiling While Intoxicated (SWI)
    (A.8591-A, Morelle; Chapter 683, Laws of 2003)

    More than 150,000 snowmobiles are registered in New York State, which places the State fourth in the nation for numbers of snowmobiles registered. With the plentiful snow of the 2002-03 winter season, there were numerous accidents involving physical injury and death. In an effort to reduce accidents involving alcohol, and to provide consistency with the intoxication statutes applicable to motor vehicles and to boats, the Legislature enacted Chapter 683 of the Laws of 2003. This new law reduces the per se intoxication level for SWI from .10% to .08%, and makes the required technical modifications to the statutory impairment levels. It is hoped that providing this consistency will reduce alcohol-related incidents, as well as any confusion that could arise if intoxication standards were to be different for snowmobiling than for boats or motor vehicles.

    D.  Boating Safety

    Leaving the Scene of a Boating Accident
    (A.7050-A, Sweeney; Chapter 587, Laws of 2003)

    Subdivision 1 of 47 of the Navigation Law requires operators of vessels involved in accidents resulting in loss of life or personal injury where the person injured cannot be located at the accident location to report the accident to the police within 24 hours of its occurrence. However, subdivision 2 of 47 requires immediate notification to the police for any vessel accident resulting in a death, injury or disappearance. These two provisions appear to be in conflict, and have created problems for prosecutors attempting to bring charges of leaving the scene of a boating accident.

    Chapter 587 of the Laws of 2003 recodifies 47 of the Navigation Law, to clarify that all vessel accidents involving death, serious physical injury or a disappearance must be reported to police or judicial officers or bay constables as soon as the operator is physically able to do so. The recodification is patterned after the legal requirements placed on drivers of motor vehicles for reporting accidents, which should also help in reducing any confusion on the part of vessel operators as to their responsibilities after a crash.

    NYS Canal System
    (A.8877, Rules/Canestrari; Chapter 486, Laws of 2003)

    In November 1991, New York State voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution to authorize leasing and fees on the New York State Canal System, thereby supporting improvements and enhancements to the Canal System. To effectuate this change, the Legislature transferred jurisdiction over the Canals from DOT to the Thruway Authority which has the ability to upgrade and improve the Canal System, and to maintain it for current and future recreational and transportation users.

    While the transfer legislation was comprehensive in scope, there remained stray provisions of law that were not modified and, hence, led to a certain amount of confusion regarding the Thruway Authority's control over speed and vessel operation on Canal waterways. The Navigation Law established vessel speed limits on bodies of water throughout the State, while the Canal Law authorized the Canal Corporation (a subsidiary of the Thruway Authority) to prescribe rules and regulations relating to the navigation, protection and maintenance of the Canal System.

    Chapter 486 clarifies any confusion by amending the Navigation Law to specify vessel operation and speed limitations on Canal waterways. Specifically, the new law requires all vessels operated on the Canal System to be operated in a careful and prudent manner so as not to unreasonably interfere with or endanger any other vessel or person. Violations are misdemeanors, subject to a $100 - $250 fine and/or up to 15 days imprisonment for a first violation; $200 - $350 fine and/or up to 45 days imprisonment for a second violation within two years; and, $500 - $750 fine and/or up to 90 days imprisonment for subsequent violations within two years. The law also prohibits the operation of a vessel on the Canal System within 100 feet of shore at a speed exceeding 5 mph unless for the purpose of water skiing or unless otherwise provided by the Canal Corporation. Finally, the new law makes a clarifying amendment to ensure that a provision of the Navigation Law granting DOT jurisdiction over navigation on the State's navigable waters does not limit, impair or affect the general powers and duties of the Canal Corporation with respect to the Canal System.

    Authorized Emergency Vessels
    (A.6905-A, Gantt; Passed Assembly)

    There are a significant number of waterways across the State, including Lakes Erie and Ontario, Long Island Sound, Atlantic Ocean, Finger Lakes, the Erie Canal System, and many inland lakes, creeks, streams and ponds. The State and many local governments have vessels which they use to enforce marine laws, and to respond to other types of emergencies ranging from search and rescue to fire fighting. The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has either taught or sponsored the training of approximately 1,300 marine law enforcement officers across the State. Concerns over issues of liability have arisen concerning the lack of an exemption for bona fide emergency vessels from statutory restrictions on the operation of vessels, whenever such vessels are involved in emergency response or law enforcement activities.

    Assembly bill 6905-A would authorize the pilot of an authorized emergency vessel engaged in an emergency operation (as such terms would be defined) to exceed maximum speed limits on navigable waters and to disregard laws, rules, regulations and ordinances concerning the movement or turning of vessels on navigable waters. The bill would require that such exception could apply only with the sounding of a siren whistle as may be reasonably necessary, and the use of a revolving blue light. The bill also would specify that the exception would not relieve vessel pilots from the duty to pilot with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor would it protect such person from the consequences of his or her reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    E.  Disabled Access

    Parking within an Access Aisle
    (A.8985, Rules/Gantt; Chapter 613, Laws of 2003)

    Many parking spaces designated for use by the disabled have "access aisles" (essentially additional space between the parking spaces) for use by individuals in wheelchairs to access wheelchair lifts on their vehicles. The disabled community has expressed concern with persons using the access aisles as parking spaces, thereby preventing a person lawfully parked from accessing their vehicle.

    Chapter 613 prohibits any person (including those holding disabled permits or license plates) from parking in a disabled parking access aisle, and authorize police officers to tow vehicles parked in such aisles.

    Parking Space Access Aisle Width
    (A.5476, 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 5476 (Cahill) would require 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.5471, Cahill; Passed Assembly)

    Access aisles adjacent to disabled parking spaces are sometimes blocked by the vehicles of drivers parking in such access aisles. Thus, disabled drivers and/or occupants often are prevented from accessing their vehicles. Assembly bill 5471 (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.5479, 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.5479, 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, 2004. This proposal would require facilities with one retail store with at least 20 off-street parking spaces to designate such spaces by July 1, 2006.

    Wheelchair Accident Statistics
    (A.5477, 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 4,000 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 5477 (Cahill) would require DMV to include in its annual summary of motor vehicle accidents, beginning in 2004, 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.4026, 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 4026 (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 cannot accommodate the controls or devices, the rental company would be required to provide a vehicle that could accommodate such controls or devices, at a price equal to that of the vehicle requested. The bill would allow companies to require 48 hours prior notice.


1National Center for Statistics and Analysis, Research and Development, Fatalities and Injuries to 0-8 Year Old Passenger Vehicle Occupants based on Impact Attributes, DOT HS 809 410, March 2002.


  1. PUBLIC HEARINGS
  2. School Bus Pollution and Its Impact on Children
    New York City, September 18, 2003

    There are about 55,000 school buses across New York State transporting about 2.3 million children to school each day. This translates to approximately 900 million student trips, and over 3.5 billion student miles traveled. A majority of these buses are diesel-fueled, and concerns had been raised regarding the exposure of children to diesel fumes when they are in close proximity to, or on, the buses, and the resultant potential health risk.

    In December 2001, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced a program to subsidize the cost of retrofitting 1,000 New York City school buses with diesel particulate filters. In the 2002-03 State budget, the New York State Assembly secured $5 million for a diesel-fueled school bus retrofit program. To date, there has been very limited participation in these programs.

    Upstate, there have already been some actions taken to reduce the exposure of children to diesel emissions. The NY Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to advance the principles of clean school buses. The objective of the MOU is to obtain measurable decreases in diesel emissions through activities related to reducing school bus idling, retrofitting and repowering school buses, and replacing older school buses.

    The Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, and Standing Committees on Environmental Conservation, Transportation, and Education conducted a hearing in New York City on September 18, 2003 to examine the consequences of school children's exposure to school bus diesel emissions. The Task Force and Committees also were interested in examining the lack of participation in NYPA's retrofit program and the status of the statewide diesel-fueled school bus retrofit program funded under the 2002-03 budget.

    Witnesses providing oral testimony at the hearing included: New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; NYC Council Members Eva Moskowitz and David Yassky; Shammeik Barat for NYS Senator David Paterson; the US EPA; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); NYPA; NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC); American Lung Association; NYC Asthma Partnership; Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); NYAPT; Healthy School Network; Children's Health Environmental Coalition; Environmental Defense; NYC Environmental Justice Alliance; Center for Biology of Natural Systems; West Harlem Environmental Action; and KeySpan Energy Delivery. Written testimony was provided by: NYS DOT; Environmental Advocates of New York; Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI); and Ms. Priscilla Dunham, private citizen.

    The Committee will review the testimony submitted, to determine what, if any, action will be necessary by the Committee in the upcoming Legislative Session with respect to this important issue.

    Canal Corporation Development Rights
    Albany, October 3, 2003

    As part of a series of public hearings regarding procurement practices at the State's public authorities, a hearing was held on October 3, 2003 by the Assembly Committees on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Transportation, and Tourism, Arts and Sports Development to obtain information concerning the letting of a contract for development rights along the Erie Canal System.

    The Erie Canal System consists of four canals: the Champlain, Erie, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. It has 524 navigable miles, 57 locks and 16 lift bridges. Until 1992, the State Department of Transportation had jurisdiction over the Canal System. In 1991, New York State voters approved a constitutional amendment to authorize leasing and fees on the Canal System. Subsequent to this approval, the Legislature enacted Chapter 766 of the Laws of 1992, which transferred this jurisdiction to the Thruway Authority, established a new subsidiary of the Authority, the Canal Corporation, and vested it with the responsibility for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the Canal System.

    Since the transfer, the Canal Corporation and Thruway Authority have engaged in various efforts to redevelop lands along the Canal corridor, attract tourists, and increase Canal use and revenues. A $50 million Canal revitalization program was announced in 2002 to fund a variety of new projects. Prior to 2002, the Canal Corporation had expended more than $162 million on Canal initiatives ranging from harbor projects to infrastructure improvements.

    Additionally, the Canal Corporation has undertaken various efforts to facilitate public-private partnerships to revitalize the Canal, from letters soliciting redevelopment proposals to the creation of a "New York State Canal Business" web page designed to provide information about "business opportunities on and adjacent to the State's Canal System." In 1999 the Canal Corporation decided to seek bids for the development of residential canalside communities to be connected to the Canal via cuts into the Canal bank and the construction of "mini-canals." However, the only public notice of this opportunity was given by an advertisement in the New York State Contract Reporter, available only by payment of a $175 annual subscription fee. The sole bidder, Richard Hutchens LLC, was awarded the contract.

    In order to review the process used by public authorities in awarding these types of contracts, the Committees heard testimony by the New York State Thruway Authority, by Richard Hutchens, and by other representatives of Richard Hutchens, LLC. As further information was requested and will be forthcoming, the Committees will continue to review the process, with an eye toward improving public participation.



  1. 2003 LEGISLATIVE ACTION
  2. During the 2004 Legislative Session, the Committee will take up a variety of bills affecting the safety of the traveling public. The issues to be reviewed will include distracted driving, drowsy driving, the problems presented by medically impaired drivers, child occupant safety, and drunk and drugged driving. 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.



 
APPENDIX A: 2003 SUMMARY SHEET

FINAL ACTION ASSEMBLY
BILLS
SENATE
BILLS
TOTAL
BILLS

Bills Reported With or Without Amendment

To Floor; not returning to Committee 5    
 
To Floor; recommitted and died      
 
To Ways and Means 54   54
 
To Codes 84 84
 
To Rules 16   16
 
To Judiciary __   __
 
Total 159   159
 
Bills having Committee Reference Changed
 
To Social Services Committee 1   1
 
To Judiciary Committee 1   1
 
Total 2   2
 
Senate Bills Substituted or Recalled
 
Substituted   24 24
 
Recalled   5 5
 
Total   29 29
 
Bills Defeated in Committee
 
Bills Never Reported, Held in Committee 487 70 557
 
Bills Never Reported, Died in Committee
 
Bills Having Enacting Clauses Stricken 4   4
 
Motion to Discharge Lost __ __ __
 
TOTAL BILLS IN COMMITTEE 652 99 751
 
Total Number of Committee Meetings Held 14



APPENDIX B: BILLS WHICH PASSED BOTH HOUSES

BILL/SPONSOR DESCRIPTION ACTION
A.454 Brodsky
S.2524-A Spano
Reestablishes the Westchester Parkway Commission to monitor the operation and maintenance of Westchester Parkways. Vetoed, Memo 152
A.611-A Gantt
S.5611 Kuhl
Modifies width and length restrictions for motor homes and campers. Chapter 493
A.732 Gantt
S.1690 Trunzo
Authorizes DOT and the Thruway Authority to establish 65 mph speed limits at their discretion, and makes such authorization permanent. Chapter 464
A.1433-A Lentol
S.1505-A Golden
Increases fines for operating a truck on New York City streets which are not part of a designated truck route. Chapter 203
A.1466-B Weisenberg
S.257-A Skelos
Requires taxis and liveries to maintain working seat belts, and to post the notice "Seat belts are available for your use. Please buckle up." Chapter 495
A.2500 Gantt
S.4992 Golden
Adjusts the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels for commercial vehicle drivers. Chapter 236
A.2747 Higgins
S.4910 Kuhl
Exempts exterior mounted E-Zpass tags from the prohibition against partially obscuring license plates. Chapter 362
A.3039 Dinowitz
S.2985 Velella
Requires the prompt return of parking fines and penalties after judicial reversal of a violation. Vetoed, Memo 149
A.3309 Smith
S.1449 Volker
Extends until January 1, 2006 provisions allowing DOT to sell traffic control signs to municipalities. Chapter 546
A.4400-A Ortiz
S.4634-A Fuschillo
Creates the "Keep Kids Drug Free" distinctive license plate. Chapter 379
A.4401-A Reilich
S.1819-A Maziarz
Authorizes the transfer of certain State property to the Town of Ogden, Monroe County. Chapter 407
A.5305 Gantt
S.2484-A Alesi
Clarifies provisions of Chapter 329 of the Laws of 2002 with respect to a pilot study regarding drivers' licenses for household goods movers. Chapter 66
A.5418-A Canestrari
S.2476-A Johnson
Regulates the seizure and forfeiture of motor vehicles by local governments, with respect to owners and lien holders. Vetoed, Memo 168
A.6097 Crouch
S.3021 Libous
Authorizes the Town of Colesville, Broome County, to expend up to $125,000 on highway equipment. Chapter 652
A.6279-B DiNapoli
S.4990-B Flanagan
Lowers the threshold for boating while intoxicated offenses from .10% to .08% BAC. Chapter 458
A.6366-A Acampora
S.2749-A Lavalle
Designates a portion of State Route 25 in the Town of Brookhaven as the "Jack Austen Highway." Chapter 211
A.6393-D Hoyt
S.2639-B Hannon
Creates a distinctive "Life Pass It On" license plate. Chapter 415
A.6419 Finch
S.2353 Libous
Designates the bridge spanning the Susquehanna River between the hamlets of Apalachin and Campville in the Town of Owego, Tioga County as the "Apalachin/Campville Memorial Bridge." Chapter 208
A.6422-A Galef
S.1572-A Leibell
Authorizes the Village of Cold Spring to implement a residential parking permit system. Chapter 501
A.6423 Galef
S.2170 Leibell
Authorizes the City of Peekskill to establish a residential parking permit system. Chapter 467
A.6429 Galef
S.1176 Leibell
Designates the bridge spanning the Croton Reservoir in the Town of Yorktown, Westchester County as the "AMVETS Memorial Bridge." Chapter 202
A.6484 Townsend
S.15-A Meier
Designates that portion of State Route 69 between the Village of Camden and the hamlet of Taberg as the "Military Highway." Chapter 194
A.6634 Tocci
S.3814 Spano
Amends Chapter 625 of the Laws of 2002 to clarify billboard size, lighting, spacing and other requirements. Chapter 169
A.6897-A Canestrari
S.3451-A Seward
Creates a distinctive National Multiple Sclerosis Society license plate. Chapter 384
A.6941-A Sweeney
S.3748-A Seward
Designates county emergency medical services coordinator vehicles as authorized emergency vehicles. Chapter 446
A.7013 Sweeney
S.3296 Fuschillo
Extends provisions relating to the waiver of certain fares, tolls, charges and other fees imposed upon air transportation facilities at Republic Airport. Chapter 79
A.7050-A Sweeney
S.4636-A Johnson
Clarifies provisions regarding boating accident reports. Chapter 587
A.7183-B DelMonte
S.3326-B Brown
Designates a pedestrian overpass in the City of Niagara Falls as the "Jennifer Bolendar Memorial Overpass." Chapter 220
A.7271-B Gantt
S.5346-B Rath
Authorizes DOT to transfer certain lands in Genesee County to the Monroe County Water Authority. Chapter 438
A.7335 Bacalles
S.3412 Kuhl
Designates a portion of State Route 36 between Hornell and Canisteo in Steuben County as the "Steuben County Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway." Chapter 222
A.7336-A Butler
S.3411-A Farley
Designates a portion of State Route 10 in Hamilton and Fulton Counties as the "Assemblyman Glenn H. Harris Memorial Highway." Chapter 134
A.7372-A Schimminger
S.836-A Maziarz
Designates a portion of River Road in the City of North Tonawanda as the "North Tonawanda POW-MIA Memorial Highway." Chapter 198
A.7402 Brown
S.5402 Hoffmann
Reduces the original highway width in two areas within the Village of Manlius. Chapter 439
A.7432-A Paulin
S.4024-A Velella
Expands the size of the residential parking system within the Town of Eastchester. Chapter 448
A.7887 Rules/Englebright
S.3803 Flanagan
Designates a bridge in the hamlet of Centereach, Suffolk County as the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge." Chapter 225
A.8129 Rules/Sweeney
S.4740 Fuschillo
Authorizes a study of current rules and regulations governing the operation of drawbridges. Chapter 533
A.8252-A Acampora
S.4517-A Lavalle
Designates a portion of State Route 25 between Mattituck and Cuthogue as the "United States Submarine Veterans Memorial Highway." Chapter 234
A.8303 Rules/Gantt
S.4873 McGee
Extends provisions of law relating to the suspension of a driver's license for certain drug convictions ("Solomon amendment"). Chapter 487
A.8327 Rules/Magnarelli
S.4405 DeFrancisco
Creates a distinctive "Erie Canal" license plate. Chapter 484
A.8395 Rules/Canestrari
S.4254 Breslin
Designates Interstate 787 and State Route 787 as the "Albany County Veterans' Memorial Highway." Chapter 453
A.8421 Rules/Canestrari
S.3778-A Spano
Increases pilotage fees charged for services of the Hudson River ships' pilots. Chapter 482
A.8437 Rules/Lavelle
S.3943 Marchi
Increases pilotage fees charged for services of the Sandy Hook ships' pilots. Chapter 356
A.8591-A Rules/Morelle
S.4991-A Maziarz
Reduces the threshold for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated from .10% to .08%. Chapter 683
A.8632-B Rules/Millman
S.4179-B Golden
Provides for enforcement of provisions banning the attachment of handbills and advertisements on windshields in New York City. Chapter 231
A.8664 Rules/Casale
S.5304 Bruno
Designates a portion of State Route 40 in the City of Troy as the "Colonel William O'Brien and Sergeant Thomas Baker Memorial Highway." Chapter 239
A.8687 Rules/Young
S.5315 McGee
Designates a bridge across the Allegheny River in the City of Olean as the "Veterans Memorial Bridge." Chapter 240
A.8877 Rules/Canestrari
S.4795 Maziarz
Imposes a speed limit on portions of the New York State Canal System, and prohibits careless boating thereon. Chapter 486
A.8928 Rules/Gantt
S.5517 McGee
Clarifies blood alcohol thresholds for driving while ability impaired. Chapter 153
A.8985 Rules/Gantt
S.4921 Libous
Prohibits any person from parking in a disabled parking access aisle. Chapter 613
A.9086 Rules/Weisenberg
S.5620 Lavalle
Delays for six months provisions requiring specific training for school bus attendants. Chapter 159



APPENDIX C: BILLS THAT PASSED THE ASSEMBLY

BILL/SPONSOR DESCRIPTION
A.52 Lafayette Would require motor vehicle repair shops to notify customers of their right to inspect repair work.
A.319 Cahill Would require drivers' licenses to be imprinted with "ORGAN DONOR" on the front of all such licenses issued to those opting to become organ donors.
A.326 Cahill Would authorize the use of red or amber reflectors on bicycles.
A.369 Greene
S.357 Andrews
Would require DMV to issue distinctive "African-American Veteran" license plates.
A.373 Englebright Would require DOT and the State Police to conduct a study of the synchronization of traffic lights in New York City and Long Island.
A.412 Kaufman Would limit vehicle owner liability for toll charges incurred after loss or theft.
A.430 Lafayette
S.5400 Sabini
Would require DMV to charge out of state entities the same fees for inquiries as are charged by such other states.
A.588 Gantt Would define the term "electric assisted bicycle."
A.601 Gantt Would prohibit the operation of a pickup truck with passengers under the age of 18 in the cargo area, with limited exceptions.
A.608 M. Cohen
S.4106 Maltese
Would permit persons to plead guilty by mail to jaywalking in New York City.
A.613 Gantt Would authorize the use of booster seats by children under age 4 who have outgrown child safety seats.
A.717 Gantt Would authorize the issuance of combination distinctive disabled license plates.
A.903 Lafayette
S.118 Alesi
Would remove the exemption for back seat passengers age 16 and over from wearing seat belts.
A.996 McEneny
S.1020 Skelos
Would require passengers aged 4, 5 and 6 to be restrained in appropriate child safety systems.
A.1457 Tonko Would direct the Thruway Authority to issue short-distance commuter passes in the Albany area.
A.1593 Schimminger
S.563 Maziarz
Would require suspension of boating privileges upon a DWI/DWAI conviction, and authorize suspension of a driver's license upon a BWI/BWAI conviction.
A.1711 Destito Would direct the Thruway Authority to issue short-distance commuter passes in the Utica area.
A.1816 Tokasz Would direct the Thruway Authority and DOT to install "TRUCK PARKING" signs.
A.1831 Levy Would require drivers' licenses to have space for emergency contact information.
A.2037 Tokasz Would direct the Thruway Authority to issue short-distance commuter passes in the Buffalo area.
A.2059 Smith
S.1293 Stachowski
Would direct the Thruway Authority to issue short-distance commuter passes in the Buffalo area.
A.2130 Weisenberg Would require vessel registration numbers to be affixed to vessels.
A.2520-A McLaughlin
S.155-A Maltese
Would increase fines for parking too close to a fire hydrant, in cases of actual emergency.
A.2586 McLaughlin Would require certain information on disabled children to be maintained on school buses.
A.2823 Tonko
S.1344 Farley
Would direct the Thruway Authority to establish a tourism information demonstration program.
A.3497 Englebright Would require the removal or covering of inapplicable highway work zone traffic control signs.
A.3601 Norman Would require DMV to establish rules and regulations for postponement of traffic hearings pursuant to statutory standards.
A.3693 Koon Would require the Thruway Authority to issue short-distance commuter passes in the Rochester area.
A.4026 DiNapoli Would require provision of portable mechanical devices for disabled persons on rental vehicles.
A.4648 Grannis
S.3481 Lachman
Would prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle with children under age seven seated in the front seat, with limited exceptions.
A.5230 Perry
S.230 M. Smith
Would direct DMV to issue distinctive license plates for the New York City auxiliary police.
A.5471 Cahill Would require that access aisles of disabled parking spaces be marked with "NO PARKING ANYTIME" signs and diagonal stripes.
A.5476 Cahill Would codify the requirement that access aisles of disabled parking spaces measure at least eight feet in width.
A.5477 Cahill Would require DMV to include information regarding wheelchairs in the annual summary of motor vehicle statistics.
A.5479 Cahill Would require retail stores having off street parking to provide parking spaces for disabled access.
A.5484 A. Cohen Would require DMV to include in its annual report on accident statistics information on bicycle safety helmet usage.
A.5675 Lafayette Would require DMV to notify the insurers of recovered stolen vehicles when the owner cannot be found.
A.6905-A Gantt Would exempt pilots of authorized emergency vessels from certain vessel regulations while engaged in an emergency operation.
A.6976 Higgins
S.3089 Volker
Would authorize DOT to increase the speed limit on a portion of State Route 400 in Erie County to 65 mph.



APPENDIX D: VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW FINE INCREASES PURSUANT TO PART C, CHAPTER 62, LAWS OF 2003

Table 1: Traffic Infractions and Misdemeanors

Description Former Fines New Fines
1st conviction Maximum $100 Maximum $150
2nd conviction within 18 months Maximum $200 Maximum $300
3rd or subsequent conviction within 18 months Maximum $300 Maximum $450

Table 2: Red Light Violations Outside New York City

Description Former Fines New Fines
1st conviction $50 - $150 $75 - $225
2nd conviction within 18 months $100 - $250 $150 - $375
3rd or subsequent conviction within 18 months $250 - $450 $375 - $675

Table 3: Red Light Violations Within New York City

Description Former Fines New Fines
1st conviction $100 - $300 $150 - $450
2nd conviction within 18 months $200 - $500 $300 - $750
3rd or subsequent conviction within 18 months $500 - $1,000 $750 - $1,500

Table 4: Failure to Yield to Authorized Emergency Vehicles

Description Former Fines New Fines
1st conviction Maximum $150 Maximum $275
2nd conviction within 18 months Maximum $300 Maximum $450
3rd conviction within 18 months Maximum $500 Maximum $750

Table 5: VTL Misdemeanors (applicable unless otherwise specified)

Description Former Fines New Fines
1st conviction Maximum $200 Maximum $300
2nd conviction within 18 months Maximum $350 Maximum $525
3rd or subsequent conviction within 18 months Maximum $750 Maximum $1,125

Table 6: Knowing Disconnection of Service Brakes

Description Former Fines New Fines
Any conviction $1,500 $2,250

Table 7: Driving Without a License2

Description Former Fines New Fines
Driving without a license $50 - $200 $75 - $300
Failing to renew license valid within prior 60 days Minimum $25 Minimum $40
Failing to notify DMV of change of address Maximum $50 Maximum $75
Operating tow truck or for-hire vehicle without appropriate license 1st violation: $150 - $300
2nd in 5 yrs: $250 - $500
Subsequent in 5 yrs:$500 - $1,000
$225 - $450
$375 - $750
$750 - $1,500


2Includes the following violations: operating a motor vehicle without a driver's license or with a license invalid for the type of vehicle operated; operating a motor vehicle in violation of driver's license restrictions; knowingly permitting the operation of a motor vehicle in violation of licensing provisions; holding more than one unexpired license at one time; permitting another to use one's license; possessing or using a forged, fictitious or illegally obtained license; or simultaneously holding a New York State driver's license and one from another jurisdiction.

Table 8: Speeding

Description Former Fines New Fines
Up to 10 mph over posted limit $30 - $100 $45 - $150
11 - 30 mph over posted limit $60 - $200 $90 - $300
31+ mph over posted limit $120 - $400 $180 - $600
Speed exceeding reasonable and prudent $30 - $100 $45 - $150
Work Zones: Up to 10 mph over posted limit $60 - $100 $90 - $150
Work Zones:11 - 30 mph over posted limit $120 - $200 $180 - $300
Work Zones:31+ mph over posted limit $240 - $400 $360 - $600
CMV3 with radar/laser detector:56 - 65 mph in a 55 mph zone $60 - $100 $90 - $150
CMV with radar/laser detector:66 - 85 mph in a 55 mph zone $120 - $200 $180 - $300
CMV carrying hazardous materials with radar/laser detector:66 - 85 mph in a 55 mph zone $200 $300
CMV with radar/laser detector: 86+ mph in a 55 mph zone $240 - $400 $360 - $600
CMV carrying hazardous materials with radar/laser detector: 86+ mph in a 55 mph zone $400 $600
School Speed Zones: up to 10 mph over posted limit $60 - $200 $90 - $300
School Speed Zones: 11 - 30 mph over posted limit $120 - $400 $180 - $600
School Speed Zones: 31+ mph over posted limit $240 - $800 $360 - $1,200
Additional fines for repeat offenses in 18 months 2nd: additional $100
3rd +: additional $250
additional $150
additional $375
Speed Contests 1st: $200 - $350
2nd + in 12 months:
$350 - $500
$300 - $525

$525 - $750


3"CMV" means "commercial motor vehicle," and applies here to such vehicles weighing more than 18,000 pounds


Table 9: Operating Unregistered Motor Vehicle

Description Former Fines New Fines
Unregistered operation $50 - $200 $75 - $300
Failing to renew registration valid within prior 60 days $25 $40
Operating vehicle with weight in excess of maximum gross weight (MGW) on registration 1st: $100 - $250
2nd +: $250 - $500
$150 - $375
$375 - $750
Operating vehicle with weight in excess of MGW on registration, where MGW is less than 18,000 pounds $25 - $250 $40 - $375

Table 10: Operation of Uninsured Motor Vehicle

Description Former Fines New Fines
Operation of uninsured vehicle $100 - $1,000 $150 - $1,500
Civil penalty for uninsured operation $500 $750

Table 11: Certain Equipment Violations

Description Former Fines New Fines
Manufacturing a motor vehicle without an interior rear-view mirror $500 $750
Operating motor vehicle without approved exhaust emission control system 1st: $500 (amount that can be waived: $300)
2nd +: $500
$750 (amount that can be waived: $450)
$750
Operating vehicle with inadequate brakes Maximum $100 Maximum $150
Operating vehicle in violation of audio amplification limits 1st: Maximum $100
2nd in 18 months:$100 - $200
3rd + in 18 months:$250 - $500
Maximum $150
$150 - $300
$375 - $750


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