Senator Fuschillo Announces Public Hearing on Distracted Driving Monday, February 13th

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 6, 2012

        Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, announced that the Committee will be holding a public hearing on distracted driving this Monday, February 13th at 10 am in Hearing Room A of the State Legislative Office Building in Albany. The public hearing will examine the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) December 2011 recommendations on distracted driving and explore how New York State can better prevent distracted driving on its roadways.

        “Distracted drivers put other people’s safety at risk. We need to examine how New York can continue to strengthen its efforts to prevent distracted driving and make our roads safer,” said Senator Fuschillo.

         Those expected to testify at the public hearing include:

         • Christopher Hart, Vice-Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board

         • Barbara Fiala, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner & Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chairperson

         • Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, New York State Police

         • Jacy Good, a board member of FocusDriven and victim of a distracted driving crash

         • AAA New York

         • Dr. Jim Hedlund, Principal, Highway Safety North and former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official.

         • Auto Alliance

         • Toyota Motor North America

         • New York State Driver Education Traffic Safety Association

         Discussion at the hearing will include, but will not be limited to: whether New York State’s current distracted driving laws should be strengthened; how enforcement of distracted driving laws can be enhanced; how New York State can better educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving; and how current driver education requirements can be enhanced so that young drivers learn about the dangers of distracted driving at an early age.

        According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 5,400 people were killed and an estimated 448,000 were injured nationwide in crashes involving distracted driving in 2009.

        Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearing and submit written testimony. Oral testimony is by invitation only.