Provides for an increase in penalties for obstruction of driver's view, or operator's view in a vessel, if injury or death results.
BILL NUMBER: S1638
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the navigation law, in relation to increasing penalties for certain obstructed view for drivers of motor vehicles and operators of vessels that result in injury or death
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To ensure that there is an appropriate penalty when there is an obstruction to the operator's view of a motor vehicle or vessel that results in an injury or death.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1 - Amends section 1213 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law by adding a subdivision (c). Subdivision (c) states that it is a class A misdemeanor if one drives while his or her view is obstructed or is a passenger who obstructs a driver's view and the obstruction results in an injury. Additionally, it shall be a class E felony if one drives while his or her view is obstructed or is a passenger who obstructs a driver's view and the obstruction results in death.
Section 2 - Adds a new section 45-e to the Navigation Law by creating a crime of reckless operation of a vessel. Subsection 1 prohibits any passenger from obstructing the view of a vessel operator. Subsection 3 makes any violation of subsections 1or 2 a class A misdemeanor if an injury occurs, and subsection 3 also makes a violation of subsections 1 of 2 a class E felony if a death occurs.
Section 2 - Effective Date
JUSTIFICATION : In August 2007, the reckless operation of a vessel on Oneida Lake contributed to the death of an elderly Central New York man. News reports stated that the Operator of the vessel that accidentally killed the man was "kissing" a female passenger during the moments before the accident. Vessels, like motor vehicles, can be dangerous instruments when not operated with care. New Yorkers deserve to know that fellow motorists and boaters are operating their cars and boats responsibly. This legislation will ensure that those responsible are Punished appropriately when a driver's or boat operator's view is obstructed and the obstruction results in an injury or death.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2008: A.9884 Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : November 1 next succeeding the date on which this act shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1638 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 3, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. VALESKY -- 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 and the navigation law, in relation to increasing penalties for certain obstructed view for drivers of motor vehicles and operators of vessels that result in injury or death THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1213 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 621 of the laws of 1963, is amended to read as follows: S 1213. Obstruction to driver's view or driving mechanism. (a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle when it is so loaded, or when there are in the front seat such number of persons as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. In no event shall there be more than three persons in the front seat of any vehicle, except where such seat has been constructed to accommodate more than three persons and there is eighteen inches of seating capacity for each passenger or occupant in said front seat. (b) No passenger in a vehicle shall ride in such a position as to interfere with the driver's view ahead or to the sides, or to interfere with his OR HER control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. (C) A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION (A) OR (B) OF THIS SECTION THAT RESULTS IN AN INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION (A) OR (B) OF THIS SECTION THAT RESULTS IN THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS E FELONY. S 2. The navigation law is amended by adding a new section 45-e to read as follows: S 45-E. RECKLESS OPERATION OF A VESSEL; OBSTRUCTION TO OPERATOR'S VIEW OR OPERATING MECHANISM. 1. NO PERSON SHALL OPERATE A MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL WHEN IT IS SO LOADED, OR WHEN THERE ARE SUCH NUMBER OFEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05046-01-9 S. 1638 2
PERSONS AS TO OBSTRUCT THE VIEW OF THE OPERATOR TO THE FRONT OR SIDES OF THE VESSEL OR AS TO INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATOR'S CONTROL OVER THE OPER- ATING MECHANISM OF THE VESSEL. 2. NO PASSENGER IN A MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL SHALL RIDE IN SUCH A POSITION AS TO INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATOR'S VIEW AHEAD OR TO THE SIDES, OR TO INTERFERE WITH HIS OR HER CONTROL OVER THE OPERATING MECH- ANISM OF THE VESSEL. 3. A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OR TWO OF THIS SECTION THAT RESULTS IN AN INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OR TWO OF THIS SECTION THAT RESULTS IN THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS E FELONY. 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.