Governor Paterson Signs Two Senator Dilan-Sponsored Bills into Law

Martin Malavé Dilan

August 28, 2009

S 3619-A bans the use of portable electronics while driving, S 3623-A requires passengers under age eight to ride in restraint systems

(Albany-NY)— Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, today praised the signing of two bills into law that will improve safety measures protecting New York’s young drivers and passengers.

“Both these laws put in place long overdue traffic safety measures,” said Senator Dilan. “Not only do we address the threat of the use of portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle, we further protect vulnerable passengers.”

Senate bill S 3619-A , bans the use of all portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle in motion. The law also reduces from two to one, the number of non-family passengers under the age of 21 riding in a vehicle operated by a driver with a learner’s permit.

Additional measures increase the number of required driving hours an applicant’s parent or guardian must certify in writing from 20 to 50 hours, and requires that 15 of those practice driving hours be done after sunset. Both these provisions must be met before junior drivers may take their road test.

The ban is effective November 1 and carries a maximum fine of $150.

Also signed into law, Senate bill 3623-A, raises the age of passengers that must be in a child restraint system from children ages four through six to any passenger under eight. It goes into effect September 13.

“It should give parents peace of mind that these measures make for a safer driving and riding experience for New York’s youth. Our children will now be better educated and further protected as they progress from passenger to daily commuter,” said Senator Dilan.