senate Bill S43

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Enacts the "pedestrian safety enhancement act of 2009"

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee

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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to transportation
Jan 07, 2009 referred to transportation

S43 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law

S43 - Bill Texts

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An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to enacting
the "pedestrian safety enhancement act of 2009"

Enacts the "Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009" which
authorizes the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to promulgate
regulations establishing a statewide minimum sound standard for
hybrids and other inaudible motor vehicles.

The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 397-c:
Minimum motor vehicle sound standards.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a pedestrian is
killed by an automobile every 110 minutes; one is injured every 9
minutes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that most
fatalities take place at intersections with 1/3 caused by the actions
of the pedestrian and 2/3 by drivers who fail to yield to the
pedestrian, disobey traffic signals or are distracted by cell phones,
etc. In 2006, 36% of the pedestrian deaths at intersections were
people 70 and older while 21% were under 70. The technological
advancements in the design of clean-powered motor vehicles, which are
drastically quieter than gasoline-powered automobiles, will more than
likely increase those figures. Studies have shown that both blind and
sighted people make better traverse decisions when they can hear
oncoming vehicles. Those who are dependent on multi-sensory
information, such as people who are blind or severely
visually-impaired, are most at-risk crossing an intersection by the
absence of an engine sound; the elderly, bicyclists, runners, children
and toddlers are just as vulnerable.

The ecological benefits of hybrid automobiles are significant;
however, the decreased sound produced by the engine has no impact on
greenhouse gas emissions. A minor modification to the existing design
of the engine would enable these vehicles to produce an audible
indication of their presence. This legislation would make possible an
engineering solution which would both save lives and be inoffensive to
the public. Based on available scientific research, and in
consultation with pedestrian advocacy groups, this legislation calls
for the DMV and DEC to establish a minimum audibility standard for
manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and other non-internal combustion
engines sold in New York State.

2008: Referred to Transportation (S.7151/A.10248)


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