Building on the effort of Legislator Nick Caracappa (4th Legislative District), Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) announced that statewide legislation he and Assemblyman Steve Stern (10th Assembly District) sponsor to require tow truck operators to clean up debris at crash sites has passed both the Senate and Assembly. The statewide legislation (S.5430), which will provide motorists with clean and safer roadways following an accident, will now be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office to be signed into law.
Legislator Caracappa enacted a similar law for the County of Suffolk last year and worked with Senator Mattera to bring it to the entire state. Currently, there are no statewide standards regarding vehicle accident clean-ups. Roads were left with debris that endangered public safety.
“Legislator Caracappa led the way on this important subject and it is a great concept that should protect all motorists across our state. With our drivers having to continually deal with all sorts of incidents and road conditions, the simplest way to help make their drive smoother is to ensure that those who take the vehicles away from a scene provide them with clean and safe travel conditions,” stated Senator Mattera. “Special thanks to Assemblyman Stern for his efforts on this important matter. And my deepest appreciation to ABATE of New York for their support and consistent work to raise awareness of this important issue for the safety of all motorists including our motorcycling public.”
“I am pleased that Senator Mario Mattera and his colleagues in the New York State Senate have aligned themselves with this important public safety initiative. The safety of our residents and our families is our number one priority. By requiring the removal of accident debris we can drastically reduce what is a potentially a dangerous situation for motorist and even more so for the motorcycle enthusiasts traveling our New York State roadways. Having this Local Law pass in New York State reinforces our combined commitment to the safety on our roadways and the public who use them,” said Legislator Caracappa.
In October of 2022, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously passed Legislator Caracappa’s “Crash Site Clean-Up Bill” that mandated tow truck operators clean up debris at crash sites to ensure that Suffolk County has safer roads. This was after finding that accident sites are often left in unclean and unsafe conditions once tow truck operators and emergency personnel leave.
That success of this bill inspired Senator Mattera to do the same for the entire state. His legislation requires that all tow truck operators throughout the state be equipped with the necessary tools to effectively clean up debris from the areas of towed vehicles after accidents.
Tow truck operators are now required to have shovels, brooms, containers and other necessary equipment to collect any debris from crashes. Additionally, oils, coolants, gasses and other liquids must be removed with a liquid absorbing substance to make sure the road is completely clean and dry to prevent damage to vehicles or more accidents from occurring.
All clean-up operations are required to satisfy the judgement of the police officer or other authority on the scene. The cost of this law is not felt by the public as all cleaning services are added to the towing fee of the individual(s) involved in the accident.