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A02661 Summary:

BILL NO    A02661 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Ortiz (MS)

COSPNSR    Schroeder, Galef, Millman, Maisel, Schimel, Spano, Boyland, Clark,
           Brennan, Colton, Brook-Krasny, Zebrowski, Kavanagh, Hoyt, Meng,
           DenDekker, Gabryszak, Latimer, Castro, Rosenthal, Markey, Camara,
           Hooper, Mayersohn, Jeffries

MLTSPNSR   Abbate, Benedetto, Calhoun, Cook, Cusick, Dinowitz, Glick, Gottfried,
           Heastie, Lancman, Lupardo, Magee, Perry, Pheffer, Reilly, Robinson,
           Scarborough, Titone, Towns, Weisenberg

Amd SS1225-c & 502, V & T L; amd S2336, Ins L

Prohibits the writing, sending or reading of text messages on a mobile
telephone while driving.
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A02661 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         2661

                              2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                   January 19, 2011
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  M. of A. ORTIZ, SCHROEDER, GALEF, MILLMAN, MAISEL, SCHI-
         MEL, SPANO, BOYLAND, CLARK, BRENNAN, COLTON, BROOK-KRASNY,  ZEBROWSKI,
         KAVANAGH,  HOYT,  MENG,  DenDEKKER, GABRYSZAK, LATIMER, CASTRO, ROSEN-
         THAL, MARKEY, CAMARA, HOOPER, MAYERSOHN, JEFFRIES  --  Multi-Sponsored
         by  --  M.  of  A. ABBATE, BENEDETTO, CALHOUN, COOK, CUSICK, DINOWITZ,
         GLICK, GOTTFRIED, HEASTIE, LANCMAN, LUPARDO,  MAGEE,  PERRY,  PHEFFER,
         REILLY,  ROBINSON, SCARBOROUGH, TITONE, TOWNS, WEISENBERG -- read once
         and referred to the Committee on Transportation

       AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the  insurance  law,  in
         relation  to  prohibiting  the  writing,  sending  or  reading of text
         messages on a mobile telephone while driving

         THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section  1.  Paragraph  (d)  of subdivision 1 of section 1225-c of the
    2  vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 69 of the laws of 2001,  is
    3  amended and a new paragraph (h) is added to read as follows:
    4    (d)  "Hand-held  mobile  telephone"  shall  mean a mobile telephone OR
    5  PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE with which  a  user  engages  in  a  call  OR
    6  WRITES,  SENDS OR READS A TEXT MESSAGE using at least one hand, PROVIDED
    7  THAT  THE  TERM  "HAND-HELD  MOBILE   TELEPHONE"   SHALL   NOT   INCLUDE
    8  VEHICLE-INTEGRATED VOICE-ACTIVATED DEVICES.
    9    (H)  "WRITE,  SEND OR READ A TEXT MESSAGE" SHALL MEAN THE MANUAL ENTRY
   10  OR RETRIEVAL OF A TEXT-BASED MESSAGE COMMONLY  REFERRED  TO  AS  A  TEXT
   11  MESSAGE,  INSTANT  MESSAGE,  ELECTRONIC MESSAGE OR EMAIL, TO COMMUNICATE
   12  WITH ANY PERSON OR DEVICE.
   13    S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision  2  and  subdivision  3  of  section
   14  1225-c  of  the  vehicle  and traffic law, as added by chapter 69 of the
   15  laws of 2001, are amended to read as follows:
   16    (a) Except as otherwise provided in  this  section,  no  person  shall
   17  operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile tele-

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD04399-01-1
       A. 2661                             2

    1  phone  OR  PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE to engage in a call OR WRITE, SEND
    2  OR READ A TEXT MESSAGE while such vehicle is in motion.
    3    3. Subdivision two of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a
    4  mobile  telephone  OR PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE for the sole purpose of
    5  communicating with any of the following  regarding  an  emergency  situ-
    6  ation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or
    7  health  clinic;  an  ambulance  company  or  corps;  a  fire department,
    8  district or company; or a police department, (b) any  of  the  following
    9  persons  while  in  the  performance  of their official duties: a police
   10  officer or peace officer; a member of a  fire  department,  district  or
   11  company;  or  the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined
   12  in section one hundred one of this chapter, or (c) the use of  a  hands-
   13  free mobile telephone.
   14    S  3.  Subdivision  4 of section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law is
   15  amended by adding a new paragraph (c-3) to read as follows:
   16    (C-3) "CELL PHONE SAFETY" COMPONENT. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROVIDE IN
   17  THE PRE-LICENSING COURSE, SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION
   18  A MANDATORY COMPONENT IN THE "CELL PHONE SAFETY" COMPONENT AS A  PREREQ-
   19  UISITE  FOR  OBTAINING A LICENSE TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE. THE PURPOSE
   20  OF THE COMPONENT IS TO EDUCATE PROSPECTIVE LICENSEES  OF  THE  POTENTIAL
   21  DANGERS  OF  DRIVING  WHILE USING A CELL PHONE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS
   22  PARAGRAPH, "CELL PHONE" SHALL BE DEFINED AS A HAND-HELD MOBILE TELEPHONE
   23  WITH WHICH A USER ENGAGES A CALL OR WRITES, SENDS OR READS A  TEXT-BASED
   24  COMMUNICATION  USING  AT  LEAST  ONE HAND AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (H) OF
   25  SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWELVE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE-C OF THIS CHAPTER.
   26  THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A CURRICULUM FOR SUCH "CELL PHONE SAFE-
   27  TY" COMPONENT WHICH SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, INFORMATION ON
   28  THE LAW RELATED TO DRIVING WHILE USING A CELL PHONE, THE  PENALTIES  FOR
   29  USING A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING AND THE POTENTIAL DANGERS OF DISTRACTED
   30  DRIVERS.  IN  DEVELOPING SUCH CURRICULUM, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL CONSULT
   31  WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL, HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICIALS AND  ANY  OTHER
   32  GROUP THE COMMISSIONER BELIEVES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO A COMPREHENSIVE STATE-
   33  MENT OF THE ISSUE.
   34    S  4.  Paragraphs  (a), (b) and (d) of subdivision 4 of section 502 of
   35  the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 585 of  the  laws  of
   36  2002, subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 387 of the
   37  laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows:
   38    (a)  (i) Upon submission of an application for a driver's license, the
   39  applicant shall be required to take and pass a test, or submit  evidence
   40  of  passage of a test, with respect to the laws relating to traffic, the
   41  laws relating to driving while ability is impaired and while  intoxicat-
   42  ed,  under  the  overpowering  influence of "Road Rage", [or] "Work Zone
   43  Safety" awareness as defined by the commissioner OR "CELL PHONE  SAFETY"
   44  AS  DEFINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, the law relating to exercising due care
   45  to avoid colliding with a parked, stopped or standing  authorized  emer-
   46  gency  vehicle  pursuant  to section eleven hundred forty-four-a of this
   47  chapter, the ability to read and comprehend traffic  signs  and  symbols
   48  and  such other matters as the commissioner may prescribe, and to satis-
   49  factorily complete a course prescribed by the commissioner of  not  less
   50  than  four  hours  and not more than five hours, consisting of classroom
   51  driver training and highway safety instruction or the equivalent  there-
   52  of.  Such test shall include at least seven written questions concerning
   53  the effects of consumption of alcohol or  drugs  on  the  ability  of  a
   54  person  to  operate  a  motor vehicle and the legal and financial conse-
   55  quences resulting from violations of section eleven  hundred  ninety-two
   56  of  this  chapter,  prohibiting  the  operation of a motor vehicle while
       A. 2661                             3

    1  under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such test shall include one  or
    2  more written questions concerning the devastating effects of "Road Rage"
    3  on  the ability of a person to operate a motor vehicle and the legal and
    4  financial  consequences resulting from assaulting, threatening or inter-
    5  fering with the lawful conduct of another person legally using the road-
    6  way. Such test shall include one or more questions concerning the poten-
    7  tial  dangers  to  persons  and  equipment  resulting  from  the  unsafe
    8  operation of a motor vehicle in a work zone. SUCH TEST SHALL INCLUDE ONE
    9  OR MORE WRITTEN QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE HAZARDS AND LEGAL CONSEQUENCES
   10  OF  DRIVING  WHILE USING A CELL PHONE. Such test may include one or more
   11  questions concerning the law for exercising due care to avoid  colliding
   12  with a parked, stopped or standing authorized emergency vehicle pursuant
   13  to  section eleven hundred forty-four-a of this chapter. Such test shall
   14  be administered by the commissioner. The commissioner  shall  cause  the
   15  applicant  to  take  a  vision test and a test for color blindness. Upon
   16  passage of the vision test, the application  may  be  accepted  and  the
   17  application fee shall be payable.
   18    (ii)  The  commissioner  shall promulgate rules and regulations estab-
   19  lishing eligibility standards for the taking and  passing  of  knowledge
   20  tests in other than written form.
   21    (b)  Upon successful completion of the requirements set forth in para-
   22  graph (a) of this subdivision which shall include an  alcohol  and  drug
   23  education component as described in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, a
   24  "Road  Rage" awareness component as described in paragraph (c-1) of this
   25  subdivision and a "Work Zone Safety" awareness component as described in
   26  paragraph (c-2) of this subdivision AND A "CELL PHONE SAFETY"  COMPONENT
   27  AS  DESCRIBED  IN  PARAGRAPH (C-3) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, the commissioner
   28  shall cause the applicant to take a road test in a representative  vehi-
   29  cle  of a type prescribed by the commissioner which shall be appropriate
   30  to the type of license for which application is made,  except  that  the
   31  commissioner may waive the road test requirements for certain classes of
   32  applicants. The commissioner shall have the power to establish a program
   33  to  allow persons other than employees of the department to conduct road
   34  tests in representative vehicles when such tests are required for appli-
   35  cants to obtain a class A, B or C license.  If she chooses to do so, she
   36  shall set forth her reasons in writing and conduct a public  hearing  on
   37  the  matter.  She  shall only establish such a program after holding the
   38  public hearing.
   39    (d) The commissioner shall make available for distribution upon regis-
   40  tration at each location where the pre-licensing course will  be  given,
   41  instructional  handbooks  outlining the content of the entire curriculum
   42  of the pre-licensing course including the  information  required  to  be
   43  included  in  the  course pursuant to paragraphs (c), (c-1) [and], (c-2)
   44  AND (C-3) of this subdivision. The commissioner shall also  provide  for
   45  the  additional  training of the instructors necessary for the competent
   46  instruction of the alcohol and drug education and "Road Rage"  awareness
   47  [and],  "Work  Zone  Safety"  awareness, AND "CELL PHONE SAFETY" subject
   48  matters of the pre-licensing course.
   49    S 5. Subsection (a) of section 2336 of the insurance law,  as  amended
   50  by chapter 751 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
   51    (a)  Any  schedule of rates or rating plan for motor vehicle liability
   52  and collision insurance submitted to the  superintendent  shall  provide
   53  for  an  appropriate  reduction in premium charges for any insured for a
   54  three year period after successfully completing a motor vehicle accident
   55  prevention course, known as  the  national  safety  council's  defensive
   56  driving course, or any driver improvement course approved by the depart-
       A. 2661                             4

    1  ment  of motor vehicles as being equivalent to the national safety coun-
    2  cil's defensive driving course, provided that,  except  as  provided  in
    3  article  twelve-C  of  the  vehicle  and  traffic law, there shall be no
    4  reduction in premiums for a self instruction defensive driving course or
    5  a  course  which does not provide for actual classroom instruction for a
    6  minimum number of hours as determined by the department of  motor  vehi-
    7  cles.  Such  reduction in premium charges shall be subsequently modified
    8  to the extent  appropriate,  based  upon  analysis  of  loss  experience
    9  statistics  and  other  relevant  factors.  All such accident prevention
   10  courses shall be monitored by the department of motor vehicles and shall
   11  include components of instruction in "Road  Rage"  awareness  [and],  in
   12  "Work  Zone  Safety" awareness AND "CELL PHONE SAFETY" as defined by the
   13  commissioner of motor vehicles. The provisions of this section shall not
   14  apply to attendance at a program pursuant to article twenty-one  of  the
   15  vehicle and traffic law as a result of any traffic infraction.
   16    S  6.  Subsection (a) of section 2336 of the insurance law, as amended
   17  by chapter 585 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
   18    (a) Any schedule of rates or rating plan for motor  vehicle  liability
   19  and  collision  insurance  submitted to the superintendent shall provide
   20  for an appropriate reduction in premium charges for any  insured  for  a
   21  three year period after successfully completing a motor vehicle accident
   22  prevention  course,  known  as  the  national safety council's defensive
   23  driving course, or any driver improvement course approved by the depart-
   24  ment of motor vehicles as being equivalent to the national safety  coun-
   25  cil's  defensive  driving  course,  provided  that in either event there
   26  shall be no reduction in premiums for a self instruction defensive driv-
   27  ing course or a course which  does  not  provide  for  actual  classroom
   28  instruction  for  a minimum number of hours as determined by the depart-
   29  ment of motor vehicles. Such  reduction  in  premium  charges  shall  be
   30  subsequently  modified to the extent appropriate, based upon analysis of
   31  loss experience statistics and other relevant factors. All such accident
   32  prevention courses shall be monitored by the department of  motor  vehi-
   33  cles  and  shall include components of instruction in "Road Rage" aware-
   34  ness [and], in "Work Zone Safety" awareness AND "CELL PHONE  SAFETY"  as
   35  defined  by  the  commissioner of motor vehicles. The provisions of this
   36  section shall not apply to attendance at a program pursuant  to  article
   37  twenty-one  of  the  vehicle  and traffic law as a result of any traffic
   38  infraction.
   39    S 7. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
   40  it shall have become a law, provided that the amendments  to  subsection
   41  (a)  of  section  2336 of the insurance law made by section five of this
   42  act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such  subsection
   43  as provided in section 5 of chapter 751 of the laws of 2005, as amended,
   44  when upon such date section six of this act shall take effect.
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