Senate Bill S7894

2019-2020 Legislative Session

Redefines reckless driving to be dangerous driving

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Transportation Committee

  • Introduced
    • In Committee Assembly
    • In Committee Senate
    • On Floor Calendar Assembly
    • On Floor Calendar Senate
    • Passed Assembly
    • Passed Senate
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed By Governor

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2019-S7894 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1212, 509-e, 510-a, 516-b, 530, 1696, 1699 & 1810, V & T L; amd §§2335 & 3425, Ins L; amd §§120.04-a, 125.14 & 270.25, Pen L; amd §§2408 & 2411, UDCA; amd §19-506, NYC Ad Cd
Versions Introduced in 2021-2022 Legislative Session:
S717, A1147

2019-S7894 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Redefines reckless driving to be dangerous driving; imposes stronger penalties where physical injury occurs and provides that a driver may be convicted without a showing of multiple violations or an awareness of the risk of harm.

2019-S7894 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

2019-S7894 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                     S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
                             I N  S E N A T E
                             February 28, 2020
 Introduced by Sen. GOUNARDES -- 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, the insurance law, the
   penal law, the uniform district court act, and the administrative code
   of the city of New York, in relation to redefining reckless driving as
   dangerous driving

   Section  1. Legislative intent. The Legislature recognizes the height-
 ened responsibility of operating a multi-ton car or truck and that  such
 motor  vehicle  is  a  dangerous  instrument under state law that, in an
 instant, can cause lethal physical harm. For example, when  operating  a
 car  at  30  miles  per hour the average risk of a pedestrian dying upon
 impact with such car is 40%, at 40 miles per hour the risk of  death  is
 80%,  and  at  speeds  greater  than 50 miles per hour the likelihood of
 death is near certain at nearly 100%.
   When deaths resulting from alcohol-impaired driving were reduced  from
 approximately  30,000  annually  in  the  early  1980s across the United
 States to approximately 10,000 annually in recent years, that remarkable
 reduction was achieved in part by the certainty experienced  by  drivers
 that they would suffer legal consequences for driving impaired and risk-
 ing  the  lives of themselves and others, resulting from changes in laws
 prohibiting impaired driving. However, that certainty does not exist for
 other types of dangerous driving. A 2016 survey by the  National  Safety
 Council  showed that "[a]lthough 83% of drivers surveyed believe driving
 is a safety concern, a startling number say they are comfortable  speed-
 ing  (64%)  [and]  texting  either  manually  or  through voice controls
 (47%)," whereas far fewer (10%) say they are comfortable  driving  after
 they  feel  they've  had  too much alcohol. This shows that, while drunk
 driving has become socially unacceptable, most other forms of  dangerous
 driving  have  not, and New Yorkers are paying the price with lives lost
 and bodies and families shattered. Moreover, the New York  City  Depart-
 ment  of  Transportation  estimated  in 2010 that the annual cost of all
  EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                       [ ] is old law to be omitted.


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