The New York State Senate today passed a bill to protect young and inexperienced drivers by helping to remove distractions that could lead to accidents. The legislation (S1511A), sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R, Syosset), prohibits the use of cell phones – including hands-free devices – by drivers who hold learner’s permits.
“Young and inexperienced drivers, holding only a learner's permit, are behind the wheel for one purpose - to learn how to safely operate a vehicle. These drivers need their full attention on the road and for the task of becoming a responsible driver,” said Senator Marcellino. “Even the best teenage drivers don’t have the judgment that comes with experience. Until a new driver has some skill and experience, the use of cell phones while driving should be banned.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that young drivers make up just seven percent of the driving population, but are involved in 15 percent of the fatal crashes. The NTSB recommended that all states prohibit holders of learner's permits or a class DJ or MJ license from using wireless mobile telephones while driving.
This bill takes the unnecessary distractions of cell phones and hands-free devices out of the hands of drivers possessing only a learner's permit or a class DJ or MJ license.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.