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.Go to top
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2661 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY 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 vehicle- 8 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 § 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. LBD04399-01-1A. 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 § 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 § 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 whileA. 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 § 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 § 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 § 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.