Transportation Committee Receives Update From Mta Chairman on State of the Mta

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 7, 2011

Committee Also Approves Legislation to Protect Children and Improve Safety for Those Who Drive and Work on Our Roadways

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, today invited MTA Chairman Jay Walder to appear before the committee to give an update on the state of the MTA.  

            Chairman Walder provided an overview of where the MTA stands financially and updated the committee on the status of capital projects. The Chairman then answered a number of questions from committee members about issues such as the MTA payroll tax, the MTA’s new policy on how long tickets are valid, and the MTA’s future role in Long Island Bus.  

            In addition to listening to Chairman Walder’s update, the committee approved three bills designed to protect children and improve safety for those who drive and work on our roadways. 

            Senate bill 948, sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset), would prohibit individuals with a learner’s permit from using a cell phone while driving, even one that is hands-free. The proposed law is designed to ensure that individuals with learner’s permits, who are the most inexperienced drivers, learn how to safely operate a motor vehicle and focus their attention solely on the road.  

            Senate bill 2192, sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), would prohibit individuals from leaving a child under the age of 8 years old unattended in a motor vehicle when conditions present a significant risk to that child’s health and safety.  

            Finally, Senate bill 2769, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R-Mount Hope), would require drivers traveling on parkways, expressways, and other controlled access highways to move over one lane when approaching or passing construction vehicles, tow trucks, or other “hazard vehicles” stopped on the road with their lights flashing. The proposed law would provide an additional level of safety for these vehicles while they are performing their work-related duties, such as highway construction and maintenance, snow-removal, or removing stranded or disabled vehicles.