Albany, NY – Studies have shown that the Fourth of July holiday weekend is the deadliest time to be on the road in America. The combination of warm weather, heavy traffic, and an abundance of alcohol-fueled festivities result in an average of 400 deaths and 49,500 injuries nationwide on our roadways each year. A bill staunchly supported by Senator Terrence Murphy was passed by the New York Senate on May 17th that will help make the holiday weekend safer. The bill (S5814), sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, would make ride-sharing available in time for the Fourth of July weekend.
“The adoption of this legislation will create new jobs and provide safe, more reliable transportation options during a hectic holiday period,” said Senator Murphy. “Unfortunately, too many drivers over-do celebrating the Fourth and then get behind the wheel. Now they will have the safer option to use ridesharing to get home. It is a common sense measure that will save lives.”
“Getting ride-sharing services up and running across Upstate New York by the Fourth of July is one step closer to a reality,” said Senator Ranzenhofer. “Accelerating this safe, reliable transportation option will make our roads safer and save lives during one of the busiest travel times of the year. Today’s passage is another sign that the bill continues to gain momentum. I look forward to its passage in the State Assembly.”
Senator James L. Seward, Chairman of the Senate’s Insurance Committee and co-sponsor of the bill said, “Bringing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to the balance of the state will be a major plus, offering economic, environmental and public safety benefits. Giving ride-sharing companies the green light 10 days early in time for the Fourth of July weekend, when tourism traffic and holiday celebrations will be at their peak, could be a true lifesaver.”
The Senate led legislative efforts to authorize ride-sharing outside of New York City, and succeeded with the passage of the budget last month. This bill would change the effective date included in the budget – accelerating it by 10 days to make ride-sharing available as early as June 29, 2017. Taking this step will make roadways safer and save lives by offering an alternative to driving for those consuming alcohol while celebrating the founding of our nation. It will also speed up economic benefits by creating more jobs and by offering New Yorkers and tourists a new transportation option.
The bill was sent to the Assembly.