senate Bill S278

Requires department of transportation to defer to town board requests for speed limit, signage and signal changes where safety is at issue

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Summary

Requires department of transportation to defer to town board requests for speed limit, signage and signal changes on state highway, county road and town highways where public safety nexus exists.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8411
Versions:
S278
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง1620, 1621 & 1622, V & T L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1507, A1331
2009-2010: S1151, A10606, A3503
2007-2008: A1543

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S278

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to giving local town
boards the discretion to change speed limits for safety

PURPOSE:
This bill gives to town boards the authority to set
reasonable speed limits and post traffic signage on state roads when
such town can show to the Department of Transportation (DOT) a nexus
between public safety concerns and the need for a change in speed
limits.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1620 so that DOT
must defer to a town's request for speed limit change on state
roads within such town when there is a nexus between the current
designated special limits and the presence of adverse safety conditions
or traffic patterns that can cause the creation of an unsafe roadway
condition on such state highway.

Section 2: Amends Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1621 so that DOT must
defer to a town's request for a new speed limit change, as specified
above, on state highways if there is a dangerous condition that
necessitates that the state highway speed limit should be reduced.

Section 3: Amends Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1622 to provide for
the same authority to towns as stated above for county roads or town
roads that have had speed limited designations established by DOT.

EXISTING LAW:
Currently, cities and villages have the authority to
establish speed limits on state roads located within such cities or
villages, however, town governments do not have the same authority.

JUSTIFICATION:
Under current law, this State's cities and villages may
set the speed limit and placement of traffic signage on state highways
in their jurisdictions. However, town governments do not have such
authority and are therefore dependent on the judgment of DOT to set
the rules of the road on state highways within their jurisdiction This
is true even if town police have jurisdiction over all public safety
issues pertaining to such state highways. This bill
gives parity to town governments that wish to establish speed limits
and traffic signage on state highways just as cities and villages are
able to do now.

Sometimes, the pace at which town requests to DOT jar approval of
suggested roadway speed reductions can take over one year. However,
during this same period of time, the dangerous road conditions can
continue to persist which heightens the danger of automobile
accidents, personal injury and even death This bill will give towns
more flexibility to control speed limits within their jurisdictions
and help to reduce motor vehicle accidents and person injury.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.906 of 2007/2008 Referred to Transportation
S.1151 of 2009/2010 Referred to Transportation
S.1507 of 2011/2012 Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediate.

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

                                   278

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. LARKIN, BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to giving local
  town boards the discretion to change speed limits for safety

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

  Section  1.  Section 1620 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by
adding a new subdivision (d) to read as follows:
  (D) THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL DEFER TO REQUESTS FOR SPEED
LIMIT CHANGES BY THE TOWN BOARD OF A TOWN OR TOWNS AFFECTED WITH RESPECT
TO STATE HIGHWAYS MAINTAINED BY THE STATE IN SUCH TOWN OR TOWNS  OUTSIDE
OF  CITIES  OR  VILLAGES, WHERE A REASONABLE NEXUS BETWEEN PUBLIC SAFETY
AND SUCH REQUEST FOR A CHANGE IN SPEED LIMIT EXISTS.
  S 2. Section 1621 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by  adding
a new subdivision (e) to read as follows:
  (E)  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  TRANSPORTATION  SHALL  DEFER TO REQUESTS FOR
SIGNAGE AND SIGNAL CHANGES BY THE TOWN BOARD OF A TOWN OR TOWNS AFFECTED
WITH RESPECT TO STATE HIGHWAYS MAINTAINED BY THE STATE IN SUCH  TOWN  OR
TOWNS  OUTSIDE  OF  CITIES OR VILLAGES, WHERE A REASONABLE NEXUS BETWEEN
PUBLIC SAFETY AND SUCH REQUEST FOR  A  CHANGE  IN  SIGNAGE  AND  SIGNALS
EXISTS.
  S  3. Section 1622 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding
a new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
  3. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY  OTHER  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION,  IF  ANY
REASONABLE NEXUS EXISTS BETWEEN PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE REQUEST BY A COUN-
TY  SUPERINTENDENT OF HIGHWAYS OF A COUNTY OR A TOWN BOARD, FOR A CHANGE
IN SPEED LIMIT, THE DEPARTMENT OF  TRANSPORTATION  SHALL  DEFER  TO  THE
COUNTY  SUPERINTENDENT  OF  HIGHWAYS' OR TOWN BOARD'S REQUEST IN SETTING
THE SPEED LIMIT ON THE COUNTY ROADS AND TOWN HIGHWAYS IN  SUCH  TOWN  OR
TOWNS OUTSIDE OF CITIES OR VILLAGES.
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01347-01-3

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