May 16, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cathy Bern-Smith
Senate Transportation Committee Approves Diaz Bill S7399
Albany, NY - The New York State Senate Committee on Transportation approved a bill on Tuesday May 15, 2012 introduced by Senator Rubén Díaz (S.7399-Cal.782).
This legislation requires the State Department of Transportation and the State Thruway Authority to submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature regarding the safety of the state's roadways and to reduce the risk of crashes.
“Last month on the Bronx River Parkway, seven members of the same family were tragically killed when their vehicle flipped over a barrier and landed sixty feet below. This is not the first accident of this kind on the Bronx River Parkway, and New York State must take every step to address why this has happened. Accidents of this nature must not be allowed to happen again,” stated Senator Diaz.
The bill was introduced on May 9, 2012 as a Uni-Bill and is on the Assembly Transportation Agenda for Wednesday, May 16, 2012.
“I am thankful to Senator Charles Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee for moving this bill so quickly and responding to the safety concerns of the millions of people who drive on the Bronx River Parkway, the New York State Thruway and its highways” concluded Senator Díaz. This legislation will now go to the full Senate for a vote.
The bill’s Sponsor’s Memo is included.
NEW YORK STATE SENATE
INTRODUCER'S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
submitted in accordance with Senate Rule VI. Sec 1
BILL NUMBER: S7399
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the transportation law and the public authorities law,
in relation to the study and examination of the state's roadways and the
thruway in reducing certain motor vehicle risks
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To improve the safety of the state's roadways and reduce the risk of
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The bill would direct the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the
Thruway Authority (Authority), to study and examine the performance of
the state's roadways and the Thruway, respectively, in reducing the
departure of motor vehicles from travel lanes and subsequently crashing.
The study and examination would be required to include, but not be
limited to, high fatality roadway segments and those segments with
hazardous features such as steep slopes, embankments, cliffs, drop-offs
or deep bodies of water. The bill also would direct DOT and the Authori-
ty to each submit annual reports to the governor and the Legislature to
include the number and type of travel lane departure crashes, the extent
to which DOT or the Authority has analyzed crash data and identified and
considered the safety needs of the roadways, and the measures and strat-
egies that have been undertaken, or plan to be undertaken, to improve
roadway performance and reduce the risk of travel lane departures and
Motor vehicle crashes take a terrible human toll on people whether they
are vehicle passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians,
depriving individuals of their independence when crashes cause serious
physical injury, and depriving families of their loved ones and society
of valued members when the crashes are fatal. While there are general
downward trends in the number of motor vehicle fatal crashes and the
number of fatalities on New York State's roadways, more can and should
be done to further prevent them. This bill presents an opportunity to
focus on high-risk sections of road across the State such as those with
a high number of fatal crashes, and those with hazardous features like
steep slopes, embankments, cliffs, drop-offs and deep bodies of water.
Strategies for reducing the risk of vehicles abruptly leaving their
lanes of travel and crashing can and should be identified in order to
reduce the risk of crashes at these high-risk locations to better
protect the safety of the traveling public and prevent future tragedies.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This act shall take effect sixty days after it shall have become a law.