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SENATOR FUSCHILLO ANNOUNCES SENATE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE TEENAGE DRIVER SAFETY

 

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced that the state Senate recently passed legislation he supports to strengthen teen driving training requirements and prevent teenage driving deaths.


“Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in car crashes because of their inexperience behind the wheel. Like any skill, driving requires training and practice in order to learn. Better preparing teenagers to handle the challenges and responsibilities of driving a car will help save lives and prevent crashes on our roadways,” said Senator Fuschillo.


The legislation would improve teen driver safety by:


* Requiring 50 hours of supervised driving instruction before teens could take their road tests. At least 15 of those hours would have to be after sunset, so that teens can learn how to drive at night. Current law only requires 20 hours of supervised driving with no requirements for night driver training.


* Requiring all teen drivers to hold a learner’s permit for at least six months before they can be issued a junior license. Limited junior driver licenses, which are currently available to teens who have passed a road test but have had their permit for less than six months, would also be eliminated.


* Junior drivers could only have only one, non-family passenger under the age of 21 in the car if no adult is present. Current law allows 2 such passengers.


The bill has also been passed by the State Assembly. Governor Paterson is expected to sign the measure into law.    


Statistics show that teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to fatal car crashes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that junior drivers are twice as likely as adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash. A recent Newsday story stated that in New York State, 236 teens died in traffic accidents and another 236 individuals were killed by cars driven by teens in 2007 alone.


________________________________________________________________


BILL NUMBER: S3619A


TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the gradu-
ated licensing program; to repeal section 503-a of such law relating
thereto; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expira-
tion thereof

 
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
This bill would enhance highway safety by strengthening the Vehicle and
Traffic Law ("VTL") graduated licensing program provisions for safety of
junior drivers and their passengers and by limiting driver distraction
and inattention by prohibiting the use of portable electronic devices
while driving.

 
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend VTL, § 501(4) to eliminate the refer-
ence to limited class DJ and MJ licenses (which is a conforming amend-
ment consistent with the repeal of VTL § 503-a which authorizes such
licenses). Holders of DJ and MJ class learner's permits who complete a
road test can currently receive a limited class DJ or MJ license if such
road test is taken less than 6 months after the permit was issued. A
limited class DJ or MJ license permits persons over the age of sixteen,
but under the age of eighteen, to operate passenger vehicles and trucks
or motorcycles, respectively, and becomes a DJ or MJ license after six
months.

Section 2 of the bill would amend VTL g 501-b(c) and (d) to reduce from
two to one, the number of non-family passengers under the age of twen-
ty-one who may be a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the holder
of a DJ or MJ learner's permit when not accompanied by a duly licensed
parent, guardian, or person in a position of loco parents.  The amend-
ment to paragraph (d) would require that a DJ or MJ permit be held for
at least six months before a DJ/MJ license is issued.

Section 3 of the bill would amend VTL § 501-b(2) of the VTL to reduce,
from two to one, the number of non-family passengers under the age of
twenty-one who may be a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the
holder of a DJ or MJ license.

Section 4 of the bill would add a new § VTL 1225-d to prohibit the use
of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle while in
motion. A summons for operating a motor vehicle while using a portable
electronic device shall only be issued when there is reasonable cause to
believe that the person operating the motor vehicle has committed a
separate violation of the law.

Section 5 of the bill would amend VTL § 502(2)(d) to increase the number
of supervised driving hours that an applicant's parent or guardian must
certify (in writing) that the applicant for a DJ or MJ license has had
(before the applicant may take a road test), from 20 to 50 hours, and
also to require that at least 15 of those practice driving hours be
after sunset.

Section 6 of the bill would repeal VTL § 503-a which provides for the
issuance of limited class DJ and MJ licenses.


Section 7 of the bill would amend VTL § 509(3) to clarify that not only
is a person prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in violation of
restrictions that are contained on his/her driver's license, but in
addition, a person is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in
violation of restrictions that are applicable to (as opposed to being
set forth on) the permit or license.

Section 8 of the bill would make conforming amendments to VTL §
510-b(1),(2) and (3) to eliminate references to limited class DJ and MJ
licenses.

Section 9 of the bill would amend VTL § 510-c to provide that certain
licensing sanctions that result from certain violations committed while
a person holds a DJ or MJ permit/license will be imposed against whatev-
er permit or license the person holds at the time of conviction.

Section 10 of the bill would amend VTL § 1229-c(3-a) to eliminate the
reference to limited class DJ or MJ licenses.

Section 11 of the bill would allow the continuation of all local laws
relating to the operation of a motor vehicle while using a portable
electronic device enacted prior to June 10, 2009 but only until November
1, 2009, when the statewide law takes effect. Additionally, it would
allow a locality to adopt such local law, ordinance or code after June
10, 2009 but with the same terms of Section 1225-d.

Section 12 of the bill would preempt any local law, ordinance, code,
rule or regulation relating to the use of portable electronic devices
while operating a motor vehicle, but would not limit state or local
agencies from imposing more stringent restrictions than provided in this
act upon individuals whom they regulate while performing their duties.

Section 13 of the bill would direct the commissioner of motor vehicles,
in consultation with the superintendent of the state police, to study
the effects of the use of portable electronic devices in conjunction
with the operation of a motor vehicle, including the effects of forms of
inattention and distraction and impacts on highway safety.

Section 14 of the bill would provide that this act shall take effect
immediately, except that Sections 4 and 12 of this act shall take effect
on November 1, 2009, and Sections 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 of this
act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall
become law. Further, Section 11 of this act shall expire on November 1,
2009.

 
EXISTING LAW:
VTL § 501(4), which provides that certain licenses shall be considered
probationary, does not apply to limited class DJ and MJ licenses.

VTL § 501-b(1) and 501-b(2) provides that only two non-family passengers
under twenty-one may be a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by the
holder of a DJ or MJ learner's permit/license. There are currently no
statewide restrictions regarding operation of a motor vehicle while
using portable electronic devices. VTL §502(2)(d) provides that before a
class DJ or MJ or limited DJ or limited MJ license may be issued, an
applicant must provide - at the time of a road test - a written certif-
ication from his/her parent or guardian certifying that the applicant
has had 20 hours of supervised driving experience. There is no require-
ment that any of the 20 hours of supervised driving take place after
sunset. VTL §503-a provides for the issuance of limited class DJ and MJ
licenses to holders of DJ or MJ learner's permits who pass a road test
within the first six months of the permit's validity. VTL §509(3)
prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle in violation of
restrictions that are contained on his/her driver's license. VTL §
510-b(1),(2) and (3) provide for the suspension and revocation of
licenses for violations committed during a probationary period. VTL
§510-c provides that if a junior driver commits certain violations while
holding a class DJ or MJ permit or a DJ or MJ license, and the
violations are of a number or type that call for the imposition of a
license sanction, such sanction may only be imposed against the DJ or MJ
permit or license.  VTL § 1229-c(3-a) prohibits holders of DJ class
learner's permits or limited class DJ or MJ licenses from operating a
motor vehicle unless they and all passengers are wearing a seat belt and
all passengers under the age of four are restrained in booster seats.

 
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

 
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
According to a 2008 publication by the National Highway Transportation
Safety Administration (NHTSA), a significant percentage of junior driv-
ers are involved in traffic crashes and are twice as likely as adult
drivers to be in a fatal crash. Sixteen-year old drivers have crash
rates that are about three times greater than 17-year old drivers, five
times greater than 18-year-old drivers, and approximately twice the rate
of 85-year old drivers. Some of the factors contributing to these higher
crash rates include lack of driving experience and inadequate driving
skills; excessive driving during night-time; risk-taking behavior; poor
driving judgment and decision making; and distractions from teenage
passengers. NHTSA has encouraged states to implement a graduated licens-
ing system (GDL) to ease young, inexperienced drivers onto the roadways,
as an effective way of reducing the incidence of traffic crashes. Vari-
ous national organizations (e.g., the American Association of Motor
Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), the American Automobile Association
(AM), and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)) and traffic
safety researchers have also evaluated, recommended and recognized the
benefits of GDL systems, which prolong the learning process and provide
a more protective driving environment for the young novice drivers and
their passengers.

This legislation would significantly strengthen New York's GDL laws,
bringing New York's program closer to the model GDL laws recommended by
NHSTA in a number of important respects, and implementing additional
enhancements as well. This bill would eliminate the limited DJ/MJ class
license and require that DJ/MJ learner's permits must be held for at
least six months before a DJ/MJ or D/M license may be issued. This will
help ensure that before teens drive unsupervised they will have had at
least six months of supervised driving experience. It will also simplify
the current laws regarding junior drivers (who hold DJ/MJ licenses),
making the laws more readily understandable by members of the public and
law enforcement, and hence more easily enforced. The number of practice
driving hours that must be certified by a parent or guardian would
increase from the current 20-hour requirement, to 50 hours, 15 hours of
which must take place after sunset. The number of non-family passengers
under the age 21 who will be able to ride with a junior driver who is not accompanied by a specified supervising adult will be reduced from two to one.

In addition, a technical correction will be made to the VTL provision
that prohibits operating in violation of restrictions contained on a
license so that the prohibition will apply to restrictions contained on,
or applicable to, both licenses and permits. Although GDL programs have
been recognized as an effective way to reduce the risks to young driv-
ers, such programs vary from state to state, with some programs being
more effective than others. A study by researchers from the Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury and
Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine published
in 2006 found that more comprehensive GDL programs have the greatest
effect in reducing the incidence of fatal crashes of 16 year old driv-
ers. Studies have also shown that driving skills sharpen over time and
that crash rates diminish dramatically during the first year of licen-
sure. This bill would be an important step toward implementing New
York's ongoing commitment to solving the tragic problem of fatal and
personal injury crashes involving teenagers.

Finally, the use of portable electronic devices, such as hand-held
mobile telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), while operat-
ing a motor vehicle have become a distraction, and therefore a danger
and threat to public safety. Crashes due to driver inattention or
distraction are on the rise in the United States and they have resulted
in more fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
estimates that 25 percent of all police-reported crashes involve some
form of driver inattention. This bill would help limit driver
distraction and inattention by prohibiting any operator in the state
from using any portable electronic device while driving, and in turn,
enhancing highway safety.

 
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:
None.

 
EFFECTIVE DATE:
This bill shall take effect immediately, except that Sections 4 and 12
of this act shall take effect on November 1, 2009, and Sections 1, 2, 3,
5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 of this act shall take effect on the one hundred
eightieth day after it shall become law. Further, Section 11 of this act
shall expire on November 1, 2009. A limited use license issued prior to
the effective date would remain valid until it expires.


_________________________________________________________________


BILL TEXT:

 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         3619--A
            Cal. No. 569
 
                               2009-2010 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                     March 25, 2009
                                       ___________
 
         
        AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to  the  gradu-
          ated  licensing  program; to repeal section 503-a of such law relating
          thereto; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expi-
          ration thereof
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  4  of section 501 of the vehicle and traffic
     2  law, as amended by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002, is amended  to  read
     3  as follows:
     4    4.  Probationary licenses. Any driver's license, other than a class DJ
     5  and class MJ license [or limited class DJ  and  MJ  license],  shall  be
     6  considered probationary until the expiration of six months following the
     7  date  of  issuance  thereof,  and thereafter as provided in section five
     8  hundred ten-b of this title, but this subdivision  shall  not  apply  to
     9  renewals  of a license, or, unless so provided by the commissioner, to a
    10  license for which a road test has been waived by the commissioner.
    11    § 2. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subdivision 1 of section 501-b  of  the
    12  vehicle  and  traffic  law, as added by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002,
    13  are amended to read as follows:
    14    (c) operate a motor  vehicle  with  more  than  [two  passengers]  one
    15  passenger  who [are] is under the age of twenty-one and who [are] is not
    16  [members] a member of such holder's immediate family, provided, however,
    17  that the provisions of this [subparagraph]  paragraph  shall  not  apply
    18  when  such  holder  is  accompanied by a duly licensed parent, guardian,
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD09379-10-9

 

        S. 3619--A                          2
 
     1  person in a position of loco parentis, driver education teacher or driv-
     2  ing school instructor;
     3    (d)  be  eligible  for issuance of a class DJ [or], MJ, D or M license
     4  unless such permit [and/or limited class DJ or MJ license issued  pursu-
     5  ant to section five hundred three-a of this article, singly or in combi-
     6  nation, have] has been valid for at least six months. Any time period in
     7  which  such  class  DJ or MJ learner's permit [or limited class DJ or MJ
     8  license] has been suspended or revoked shall not be counted in determin-
     9  ing the length of time that such learner's permit [or  limited  license]
    10  has been valid.
    11    §  3.  Paragraph  (b) of subdivision 2 of section 501-b of the vehicle
    12  and traffic law, as added by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002, is amended
    13  to read as follows:
    14    (b) with more than [two passengers] one passenger who [are]  is  under
    15  the  age  of  twenty-one and who [are] is not [members] a member of such
    16  holder's immediate family, provided, however,  that  the  provisions  of
    17  this [subparagraph] paragraph shall not apply when such holder is accom-
    18  panied by a duly licensed parent, guardian, person in a position of loco
    19  parentis, driver education teacher or driving school instructor.
    20    §  4.   The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section
    21  1225-d to read as follows:
    22    § 1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices. 1. Except  as  otherwise
    23  provided  in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while
    24  using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.
    25    2. For the purposes of this section, the following  terms  shall  have
    26  the following meanings:
    27    (a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile tele-
    28  phone,  as  defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-
    29  five-c of this  article,  personal  digital  assistant  (PDA),  handheld
    30  device  with  mobile  data  access,  laptop  computer,  pager, broadband
    31  personal communication  device,  two-way  messaging  device,  electronic
    32  game, or portable computing device.
    33    (b)  "Using"  shall  mean  holding  a portable electronic device while
    34  viewing, taking or transmitting images,  playing  games,  or  composing,
    35  sending,  reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or
    36  retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.
    37    3. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a
    38  portable electronic device for the sole purpose  of  communicating  with
    39  any  of  the  following  regarding  an emergency situation: an emergency
    40  response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an
    41  ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a
    42  police department, (b)  any  of  the  following  persons  while  in  the
    43  performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer;
    44  a  member  of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of
    45  an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of
    46  this chapter.
    47    4. A person who holds a portable electronic device  in  a  conspicuous
    48  manner  while  operating  a  motor  vehicle is presumed to be using such
    49  device. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by
    50  evidence showing that the operator was not using the device  within  the
    51  meaning of this section.
    52    5.  The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authoriz-
    53  ing the seizure or forfeiture of a portable  electronic  device,  unless
    54  otherwise provided by law.
    55    6. A violation of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall
    56  be  punishable  by  a  fine  of not more than one hundred fifty dollars.

 

        S. 3619--A                          3
 
     1  Provided, however, that a summons  for  operating  a  motor  vehicle  in
     2  violation  of this section shall only be issued when there is reasonable
     3  cause to believe that  the  person  operating  such  motor  vehicle  has
     4  committed  a  violation of the laws of this state other than a violation
     5  of this section.
     6    § 5. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 2 of section 502 of the vehicle  and
     7  traffic  law,  as amended by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002, is amended
     8  to read as follows:
     9    (d) An applicant for a class DJ  or  MJ  license  shall  be  at  least
    10  sixteen  years  of age and such applicant must submit written consent to
    11  the issuance of such license by the applicant's parent or guardian. Upon
    12  receipt of withdrawal of such consent,  any  class  DJ  or  MJ  license,
    13  learner's  permit or license application shall be cancelled. No class DJ
    14  or MJ license [or limited class DJ or MJ license] shall be issued unless
    15  the applicant presents, at the time of the road test administered pursu-
    16  ant to paragraph (b) of subdivision four of this section  [five  hundred
    17  two  of this article], a written certification by the applicant's parent
    18  or guardian that such applicant has operated a motor vehicle for no less
    19  than [twenty] fifty hours, at least fifteen  hours  of  which  shall  be
    20  after  sunset, under the immediate supervision of a person as authorized
    21  pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of  paragraph  (a)  or  paragraph  (b)  of
    22  subdivision  five  of section five hundred one of this article, a driver
    23  education teacher pursuant to section eight hundred six-a of the  educa-
    24  tion  law or a driving school instructor pursuant to subdivision seven-a
    25  of section three hundred ninety-four of this chapter.
    26    § 6. Section 503-a of the vehicle and traffic law is REPEALED.
    27    § 7. Subdivision 3 of section 509 of the vehicle and traffic  law,  as
    28  added by chapter 780 of the laws of 1972, is amended to read as follows:
    29    3.  Whenever  a permit or license is required to operate a motor vehi-
    30  cle, no person shall operate any  motor  vehicle  in  violation  of  any
    31  restriction contained on [his], or applicable to, the permit or license.
    32    § 8. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 510-b of the vehicle and traf-
    33  fic  law,  as amended by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002, are amended to
    34  read as follows:
    35    1. A license, other than a class DJ or class MJ license [or a  limited
    36  class DJ or class MJ license], shall be suspended, for a period of sixty
    37  days,  (i)  upon  the  first  conviction of the licensee of a violation,
    38  committed during the probationary period  provided  for  in  subdivision
    39  four  of  section  five  hundred  one of this title, of any provision of
    40  section eleven hundred  twenty-nine  of  this  chapter,  section  eleven
    41  hundred  eighty  of this chapter or any ordinance or regulation limiting
    42  the speed of motor vehicles  and  motorcycles,  section  eleven  hundred
    43  eighty-two of this chapter, or subdivision one of section eleven hundred
    44  ninety-two  of  this  chapter  or  section twelve hundred twelve of this
    45  chapter; or (ii) upon  the  second  conviction  of  the  licensee  of  a
    46  violation,  committed  during  the aforesaid probationary period, of any
    47  other provision of this chapter or of any other law,  ordinance,  order,
    48  rule or regulation relating to traffic.
    49    2.  A license, other than a class DJ or class MJ license [or a limited
    50  class DJ or class  MJ  license],  considered  probationary  pursuant  to
    51  subdivision  three  of this section shall be revoked upon the conviction
    52  of the licensee of a violation or violations committed within six months
    53  following the restoration or issuance of such license, which  conviction
    54  or  convictions would result in the suspension of a probationary license
    55  pursuant to subdivision one of this section.

 

        S. 3619--A                          4
 
     1    3. Any license, other than a class DJ or class MJ license [or a limit-
     2  ed class DJ or class MJ license], which  is  restored  or  issued  to  a
     3  person  who has had his last valid license suspended or revoked pursuant
     4  to the provisions of this section shall be considered probationary until
     5  the  expiration of six months following the date of restoration or issu-
     6  ance thereof.
     7    § 9. Section 510-c of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter
     8  644 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
     9    § 510-c. Suspension and revocation of [certain] learner's permits  and
    10  driver's  licenses  for  violations  committed by holders of class DJ or
    11  class MJ learner's permits or [driver's] licenses. 1. (a) A [class DJ or
    12  class MJ] learner's permit or a driver's license shall be suspended  for
    13  a period of sixty days:
    14    (i)  upon  a  conviction  or finding of a serious traffic violation as
    15  defined in subdivision [four] two of this section, when  such  violation
    16  was  committed  while  the  holder  had a class DJ or class MJ learner's
    17  permit or a class DJ or MJ license; or
    18    (ii) upon the second conviction or finding of such permit  or  license
    19  holder  of  a  violation  of  any other provision of this chapter or any
    20  other law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation relating to traffic, and
    21  when such violation was committed while such holder had [such]  a  class
    22  DJ or class MJ learner's permit or a class DJ or MJ license.
    23    (b)  A  [class  DJ or class MJ] learner's permit or a driver's license
    24  shall be revoked for a period of sixty days upon the conviction or find-
    25  ing of the permit or  license  holder  of  a  violation  or  violations,
    26  committed  within  six  months  after  the restoration of [a class DJ or
    27  class MJ learner's] such permit or license suspended pursuant  to  para-
    28  graph  (a)  of  this  subdivision,  which  convictions or findings would
    29  result in the suspension of such permit or license pursuant to paragraph
    30  (a) of this subdivision.
    31    2. [(a) A class DJ or class MJ driver's license or limited class DJ or
    32  class MJ license shall be suspended, for a period of sixty days:
    33    (i) upon a conviction or finding of a  serious  traffic  violation  as
    34  defined  in subdivision four of this section, committed while the holder
    35  had such license; or
    36    (ii) upon the  second  conviction  or  finding  of  the  holder  of  a
    37  violation of any other provision of this chapter or any other law, ordi-
    38  nance,  order,  rule  or regulation relating to traffic, committed while
    39  such holder had such license.
    40    (b) A class DJ or class MJ driver's license or a limited class  DJ  or
    41  class  MJ  license  shall be revoked for a period of sixty days upon the
    42  conviction or finding of  the  holder  of  a  violation  or  violations,
    43  committed  within  six months either after the restoration of such driv-
    44  er's license suspended pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision  or
    45  after  the restoration of a learner's permit suspended or revoked pursu-
    46  ant to subdivision one of this section, which  convictions  or  findings
    47  would result in the suspension of such license pursuant to paragraph (a)
    48  of this subdivision.
    49    3.  A  driver's license which has been restored following a suspension
    50  of a class DJ or class MJ driver's license or  a  limited  class  DJ  or
    51  class  MJ  license  pursuant to subdivision two of this section shall be
    52  revoked for a period of sixty days upon the conviction or finding, with-
    53  in six months of such restoration, of any violation or violations  which
    54  would  result  in  the  suspension  of  a  class DJ or class MJ driver's
    55  license or a limited class DJ or class MJ license pursuant to  paragraph
    56  (a) of subdivision two of this section.

 

        S. 3619--A                          5

     1    4.] For purposes of this section, the term "serious traffic violation"
     2  shall  mean operating a motor vehicle in violation of any of the follow-
     3  ing provisions of this chapter:  articles  twenty-five  and  twenty-six;
     4  subdivision  one  of  section  six  hundred;  section  six  hundred one;
     5  sections  eleven  hundred eleven, eleven hundred seventy, eleven hundred
     6  seventy-two and eleven hundred seventy-four; subdivisions (a), (b), (c),
     7  (d) and  (f)  of  section  eleven  hundred  eighty,  provided  that  the
     8  violation  involved  ten  or  more  miles  per hour over the established
     9  limit; section eleven hundred eighty-two; subdivision three-a of section
    10  twelve hundred twenty-nine-c for  violations  involving  use  of  safety
    11  belts  or  seats by a child under the age of sixteen; and section twelve
    12  hundred twelve of this chapter.
    13    § 10.  Subdivision 3-a of section 1229-c of the  vehicle  and  traffic
    14  law,  as added by chapter 644 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as
    15  follows:
    16    3-a. No person holding a class DJ learner's permit or class DJ license
    17  issued pursuant to section five hundred  two  of  this  chapter,  [or  a
    18  limited  class  DJ or MJ license issued pursuant to section five hundred
    19  three-a of this chapter,] shall operate a motor vehicle  in  this  state
    20  unless  such  person  is  restrained  by  a  safety belt approved by the
    21  commissioner, and all passengers under the age of four are restrained in
    22  a specially designed seat which meets the federal motor  vehicle  safety
    23  standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.213 and which is either permanently
    24  affixed  or is affixed to such vehicle by a safety belt and, in the case
    25  of any other passenger under the age of sixteen, he or she is restrained
    26  by a safety belt approved by the commissioner. No person  sixteen  years
    27  of  age  or  over  shall be a passenger in a motor vehicle operated by a
    28  person holding a class DJ learner's permit, a  class  DJ  license  or  a
    29  limited class DJ license unless such passenger is restrained by a safety
    30  belt approved by the commissioner.
    31    §  11.  Except as otherwise provided in section twelve of this act, no
    32  municipal corporation, as defined in section 2 of the general  municipal
    33  law,  shall, after June 10, 2009, enact any local law, ordinance or code
    34  relating to the operation of a motor  vehicle  while  using  a  portable
    35  electronic  device  unless  the terms of such law, ordinance or code are
    36  identical to section 1225-d of the vehicle and traffic law, as added  by
    37  section  four  of  this act. The provisions of this act shall invalidate
    38  and preempt any such local law, ordinance or code,  enacted  after  June
    39  10,  2009, unless the terms of such law, ordinance or code are identical
    40  to section 1225-d of the vehicle and traffic law, as  added  by  section
    41  four of this act.
    42    §  12.  The  provisions of this act shall preempt any local law, ordi-
    43  nance, code, rule or regulation relating to the  operation  of  a  motor
    44  vehicle while using a portable electronic device, except that nothing in
    45  this  act  shall  preclude  any state or local agency, which, by permit,
    46  license or registration regulates the business  or  professional  activ-
    47  ities  of  individuals  from  imposing  more stringent restrictions than
    48  provided in this act for the use of  portable  electronic  devices  upon
    49  such  individuals  during  the  course  of  engaging  in the business or
    50  professional activity that is  the  subject  of  such  agency's  permit,
    51  license or registration.
    52    §  13.  The  commissioner  of motor vehicles, in consultation with the
    53  superintendent of the state police, shall study the effects of  the  use
    54  of portable electronic devices and similar equipment in conjunction with
    55  the  operation  of  a  motor  vehicle, and the effects of other forms of
    56  driver inattention and distraction, on highway and traffic  safety,  and

 

        S. 3619--A                          6
 
     1  shall submit a report of his or her findings to the governor, the tempo-
     2  rary  president  of  the  senate,  the  speaker of the assembly, and the
     3  chairs of the transportation committees of the senate and the  assembly,
     4  not  later than 4 years from the effective date of this act. Such report
     5  shall include, but not be limited to:
     6    1. an examination of  motor  vehicle  accident,  fatality  and  injury
     7  statistics  relating to the use of portable electronic devices and simi-
     8  lar equipment while operating a motor vehicle;
     9    2. an examination of  motor  vehicle  accident,  fatality  and  injury
    10  statistics   relating   to   other   forms  of  driver  inattention  and
    11  distraction;
    12    3. a review and analysis of studies examining the effects of  the  use
    13  of portable electronic devices or similar equipment on highway and traf-
    14  fic safety;
    15    4.  a  review and analysis of studies and statistics relating to other
    16  types of driver inattention and distraction  which  affect  highway  and
    17  traffic safety; and
    18    5. recommendations for improving highway and traffic safety and reduc-
    19  ing  motor  vehicle accidents, if any, related to driver inattention and
    20  distraction.
    21    § 14. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that:
    22    (a) sections one, two, three, five, six, eight, nine and ten  of  this
    23  act  shall  take  effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall
    24  have become a law and shall apply to licenses issued on  or  after  such
    25  effective  date.  Any  license  issued  pursuant to section 503-a of the
    26  vehicle and traffic law prior to such effective  date  shall  remain  in
    27  effect until the expiration date of such license;
    28    (b) sections four and twelve of this act shall take effect November 1,
    29  2009; and
    30    (c)  section  eleven  of  this act shall expire and be deemed repealed
    31  November 1, 2009.