Requires police accident reports to indicate whether a mobile phone was in use at the time of such vehicle accident.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring accident reports to indicate whether a mobile phone was in use at the time of the accident
PURPOSE: To allow police, the Department of Motor Vehicles and private researchers the ability to gather information more effectively regarding the relationship between automobile accidents and the use of mobile telephones in New York State.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends subdivision 1 of section 603 of the vehicle and traffic law as amended by chapter 432 of the laws of 1997. This bill provides that every automobile accident report prepared by a police or judicial officer distinctly indicates whether a mobile telephone was in use at the time of said accident.
JUSTIFICATION: Individuals distracted by the use of a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle have become an increasing cause of automobile accidents on the roads of this state. Past reports from the University of Toronto and the Rochester Institute of Technology have determined that driving while using a mobile phone increases the risk of having an accident by 400% and drivers with mobile phones run an eleven-fold risk of being killed behind the wheel. As use of mobile phones increases, the accident statistics have increased as well.
In New York, the use of mobile phones while driving has become all too common. In the year following July 12,2011, more than 20,000 tickets were written for texting while driving. On April 24, 2012, Governor Cuomo announced that more than 65,000 drivers had been cited for using handheld electronic devices since the beginning of the year. These statistics show that motorists continue to use their cell phones despite the state cell phone ban. This legislation will allow the state to determine the efficacy of the cell phone ban legislation.
The severity of this situation is obscured by the fact that there are no accurate statistics for determining the correlation between mobile phones, and automobile accidents in New York State. The Rochester Institute of Technology report relied on data recorded in Oklahoma, which requires the reporting of the presence of mobile phones in vehicles involved in an accident. This legislation would require that the same information be included in official accident reports in New York State. In addition, the report must state whether it is known or suspected that a mobile phone was a cause of such accident. As a result, the police, the Department of Motor Vehicles and private researchers will have a more accurate source of data regarding accidents in which mobile phones were involved in New York State. Such information may be used to support proposed measures to help effectively prevent more automobile accidents.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Previously introduced.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after it shall have become law, provided, however, that any rules or regulations
necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1296 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring accident reports to indicate whether a mobile phone was in use at the time of the accident THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 603 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 432 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows: 1. Every police or judicial officer to whom an accident resulting in injury to a person shall have been reported, pursuant to the foregoing provisions of this chapter, shall immediately investigate the facts, or cause the same to be investigated, and report the matter to the commis- sioner forthwith; provided, however, that the report of the accident is made to the police officer or judicial officer within five days after such accident. Every coroner, or other official performing like func- tions, shall likewise make a report to the commissioner with respect to all deaths found to have been the result of motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents. Such report shall include information on the width and length of trucks, tractors, trailers and semitrailers, which are in excess of ninety-five inches in width or thirty-four feet in length and which are involved in such accidents, whether such accident took place in a work area and whether it was being operated with an overweight or overdimension permit. Such report shall distinctly indicate and include information as to whether the inflatable restraint system inflated and deployed. SUCH REPORT SHALL DISTINCTLY INDICATE AND INCLUDE INFORMATION AS TO WHETHER A MOBILE TELEPHONE, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWELVE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE-C OF THIS CHAPTER, WAS IN USE AT THE TIME OF SAID ACCIDENT. Nothing contained inEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03549-01-3 S. 1296 2
this subdivision shall be deemed to preclude a police officer from reporting any other accident which, in the judgment of such police offi- cer, would be required to be reported to the commissioner by the opera- tor of a vehicle pursuant to section six hundred five of this article. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law, provided, however, any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.