TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to removing vehicles
from traffic following an accident
This bill would improve safety and facilitate traffic mobility by
requiring drivers to remove their vehicles from the roadway, if safe
and possible, when their vehicle is in an accident not involving
personal injury or death.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends Vehicle and Traffic law (VTL) § 600 to
provide that removing a vehicle involved in an accident from the
roadway in a manner consistent with section 2 of this bill does not
constitute "leaving the scene of an accident."
Section 2 of this bill amends VTL § 1200 to require a driver of a
vehicle that is in a traffic accident not involving personal injury
or death to immediately remove the vehicle from the roadway - but
remain in the immediate vicinity of the incident - provided it is
practical to do so safely.
VTL § 600 requires that drivers involved in an accident causing
property damage stop "where the damage occurred" and, before leaving,
provide to the party suffering the damage certain information, such
as their driver license and insurance identification card data. VTL
§ 1200 establishes basic rules for stopping, standing, and parking, and
does not include the provisions added by this bill.
2009/10: S.6476/A.10097 - Passed Senate
2008: S.7396/A.11067 - Passed Senate
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
This bill would require a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident
in which no personal injury or death occurred to immediately move or
cause the removal of the vehicle from the travel lane to a safe
location along the highway in the immediate vicinity of the accident
- provided the vehicle is operable and doing so can be done safely,
This bill makes clear that so moving a vehicle does not imply that no
injuries occurred, and does not deem the driver liable or at fault
for the accident.
This proposal would maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public
and lessen the negative economic impacts of traffic incidents to
motorists and shippers not directly involved in an incident.
The longer a vehicle involved in an incident remains on the roadway, the
more likely a secondary incident will occur, increasing the risk of
death or serious personal injury to the public and emergency
In addition, other users of the highway system lose time and money
sitting in incident-related traffic backups, with the cost of these
delays impacting the entire community.
This proposal would assist in overall incident management. The removal
from the roadway of a vehicle involved in an accident - if possible
and safe - is an important step drivers themselves can take to avoid
secondary incidents and congestion. But drivers must be empowered by
law to take that step.
Nearly half of the states in the nation have enacted laws like this
one, termed "move-it" laws, to encourage or require drivers to move
their vehicles out of the roadway if involved in a non-injurious
crash.. Such laws make sense because moving or clearing vehicles
involved in such crashes saves lives, reduces congestion, and
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports
that of the 63 million highway crashes in 2002, 4.3 million damaged
only property, 1.9 million involved personal injury, and 38,491
resulted in a fatality. Accordingly, for as many as two-thirds of the
nation's auto crashes, it is possible that vehicles could be
immediately moved out of the travel lanes onto the shoulder,
preventing secondary accidents and reducing resulting traffic
congestion. Also, twenty percent of incidents are a direct result of
the aftermath of an initial accident. That is why it is essential to
remove vehicles involved in minor incidents from the roadway as
quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood of secondary incidents.
As is current practice, the Department of Transportation would
continue to work closely with the State Police on all issues
associated with vehicle accidents and highway safety.
This bill would have no significant budgetary implications, However,
this bill may produce overall savings from reduced congestion and
fewer secondary accidents, and involve minimal expense associated
with the education of the motoring public regarding these changes.
This bill would be effective on the first of November following