Senator Nozzolio and the State Senate Transportation Committee Look at Solutions to the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Michael F. Nozzolio

February 13, 2012

Continuing his efforts to keep our roadways safe, Senator Mike Nozzolio is working to address the dangers of distracted driving, a potentially fatal driving habit where drivers engage in activities like text messaging or talking on cell phones behind the wheel. The State Senate Transportation Committee, on which Senator Nozzolio serves as a member, today held a public hearing to discuss Statewide solutions to this dangerous driving practice.

“There is no question that safe driving requires motorists to focus their full attention on what’s ahead of them on the roadway and to be aware of traffic signs and signals,” said Senator Nozzolio. “Drivers who engage in distractions while behind the wheel put other people’s safety at serious risk, just as intoxicated drivers do. I am pleased that the Transportation Committee is taking the next step to examine how New York can continue to strengthen its efforts to prevent distracted driving.”

At the hearing, the Transportation Committee heard  testimony from State and National transportation and law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts, including National Transportation Safety Board Vice-Chairman Christopher Hart, State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico and New York State DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala. The participants discussed recommendations on how enforcement of distracted driving laws can be increased; 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.

As a member of the Transportation Committee, Senator Nozzolio has fought for numerous legislative measures that were adopted into law  to make our streets safer and prevent dangerous driving practices. He helped to enact numerous measures to increase the penalties for driving while intoxicated, including Leandra’s Law, legislation he co-sponsored which created felony charges for those who drive drunk with a child in the car. Last year, he also successfully fought to have the DMV abandon plans to eliminate vision test requirements for drivers renewing their licenses, a move that would have allowed unsafe drivers to remain on the road and put lives at risk.