Requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident involving no personal injury or death to move the vehicle to a safe location in the vicinity of the incident.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to removing vehicles from traffic following an accident
This bill would improve safety and facilitate traffic mobility by requiring drivers to remove their vehicles from the roadway, if safe and possible, when their vehicle is in an accident not involving personal injury or death.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends Vehicle and Traffic law (VTL) § 600 to provide that removing a vehicle involved in an accident from the roadway in a manner consistent with section 2 of this bill does not constitute "leaving the scene of an accident."
Section 2 of this bill amends VTL § 1200 to require a driver of a vehicle that is in a traffic accident not involving personal injury or death to immediately remove the vehicle from the roadway - but remain in the immediate vicinity of the incident - provided it is practical to do so safely.
VTL § 600 requires that drivers involved in an accident causing property damage stop "where the damage occurred" and, before leaving, provide to the party suffering the damage certain information, such as their driver license and insurance identification card data. VTL § 1200 establishes basic rules for stopping, standing, and parking, and does not include the provisions added by this bill.
2009/10: S.6476/A.10097 - Passed Senate 2008: S.7396/A.11067 - Passed Senate
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
This bill would require a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident in which no personal injury or death occurred to immediately move or cause the removal of the vehicle from the travel lane to a safe location along the highway in the immediate vicinity of the accident - provided the vehicle is operable and doing so can be done safely, This bill makes clear that so moving a vehicle does not imply that no injuries occurred, and does not deem the driver liable or at fault for the accident.
This proposal would maintain a safe roadway for the traveling public and lessen the negative economic impacts of traffic incidents to motorists and shippers not directly involved in an incident.
The longer a vehicle involved in an incident remains on the roadway, the more likely a secondary incident will occur, increasing the risk of death or serious personal injury to the public and emergency responders. In addition, other users of the highway system lose time and money sitting in incident-related traffic backups, with the cost of these delays impacting the entire community.
This proposal would assist in overall incident management. The removal from the roadway of a vehicle involved in an accident - if possible and safe - is an important step drivers themselves can take to avoid secondary incidents and congestion. But drivers must be empowered by law to take that step.
Nearly half of the states in the nation have enacted laws like this one, termed "move-it" laws, to encourage or require drivers to move their vehicles out of the roadway if involved in a non-injurious crash.. Such laws make sense because moving or clearing vehicles involved in such crashes saves lives, reduces congestion, and improves travel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the 63 million highway crashes in 2002, 4.3 million damaged only property, 1.9 million involved personal injury, and 38,491 resulted in a fatality. Accordingly, for as many as two-thirds of the nation's auto crashes, it is possible that vehicles could be immediately moved out of the travel lanes onto the shoulder, preventing secondary accidents and reducing resulting traffic congestion. Also, twenty percent of incidents are a direct result of the aftermath of an initial accident. That is why it is essential to remove vehicles involved in minor incidents from the roadway as quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood of secondary incidents.
As is current practice, the Department of Transportation would continue to work closely with the State Police on all issues associated with vehicle accidents and highway safety.
This bill would have no significant budgetary implications, However, this bill may produce overall savings from reduced congestion and fewer secondary accidents, and involve minimal expense associated with the education of the motoring public regarding these changes.
This bill would be effective on the first of November following enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1350 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 6, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, DIAZ -- 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 removing vehicles from traffic following an accident THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 600 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows: 3. REMOVAL OF A VEHICLE. A PERSON WHO MOVES A VEHICLE IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH SUBDIVISION (E) OF SECTION TWELVE HUNDRED OF THIS CHAP- TER AND WHO REMAINS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF AN ACCIDENT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO BE IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION BECAUSE OF SUCH MOVE- MENT. S 2. Section 1200 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision (e) to read as follows: (E) WHENEVER A VEHICLE IS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING NO PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, THE DRIVER OF ANY INVOLVED VEHICLE SHALL IMME- DIATELY MOVE OR CAUSE REMOVAL OF THE VEHICLE FROM THE TRAVEL LANE TO A SAFE LOCATION ALONG THE HIGHWAY IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THE INCI- DENT, PROVIDED THAT THE VEHICLE IS OPERABLE AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE VEHICLE CAN BE DONE SAFELY. MOVEMENT CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO IMPLY THAT NO INJURY HAS OCCURRED NOR SHALL THE DRIVER BE CONSIDERED LIABLE OR AT FAULT REGARDING THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT SOLELY BY MOVING OR CAUSING THE REMOVAL OF THE VEHICLE. MOVING A VEHICLE CONSISTENT WITH THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT RELIEVE AN INVESTIGATING POLICE OFFICER FROM THE OBLIGATION TO FILE A REPORT OTHERWISE REQUIRED. NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO AUTHORIZE OTHERWISE UNQUALIFIED PERSONS TO CLEAR OR REMOVE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FROM THE HIGHWAY OR TO MOVE VEHICLES WHICH ARE TRANSPORTING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS IN A MANNER INCONSISTENT WITH APPLICA- BLE LAW. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03014-01-1