On Feb. 26, the Senate passed Bill S1082-A, which includes mandatory instruction concerning traffic stops in pre-licensing, also known as "five-hour," courses and defensive driving courses. Under the new legislation, New Yorkers trying to earn a driver's license or learning how to drive safer would be taught their responsibility when stopped by law enforcement, as well as what to do — and what not to do — during traffic stops. Additionally, instructors must incorporate at least one question on the subject matter in their exams.
The legislation aims to mitigate any danger involved in police interactions with drivers when stopped, usually over a misunderstanding, and keep traffic stops straightforward so law enforcement are more available for emergencies.
"While this bill does not address the continuing issue of certain police tactics in communities of color, it seeks to tackle one aspect of the overall problem," Senator Persaud said. "When New York State drivers know how to act during traffic stops, it makes the stops safer for both parties involved. Additionally, when motorists follow those instructions, it puts the onus of a positive, safe traffic stop on the law enforcement officer, whom will be relied upon to uphold a smooth and calm interaction."