Requires drivers to use four-way flashers when traveling at speeds equal to or slower than fifteen miles per hour below the posted maximum speed limit.
BILL NUMBER: S1960
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the use of hazard lights when traveling at certain speeds
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : This legislation would require drivers to use four-way flashers when traveling at speeds of fifteen miles per hour or less than the posted maximum speed limit.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1 amends Subdivision (e) of section 1163 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 388 of the laws of 1970, by requiring a driver to use simultaneously flashing signals when said driver is operating a vehicle at a speed equal to or less than fifteen miles per hour below the speed limit.
EXISTING LAW : There are presently no provisions in the vehicle and traffic law specifically requiring drivers to use their four-way flashers when traveling at a certain speed under a posted speed limit.
JUSTIFICATION : In certain instances the NYS Department of Transportation or NYS Thruway Authority may post signs instructing motorists to use their four-way flashers when traveling at 40 miles per hour or less in an area posted with a 55 miles per hour speed limit. Given that many roadways are now posted at 65 miles per hour, the signs requiring usage of four-way flashers at 40 miles per hour are ineffective. A 25 mile per hour differential before a slow moving vehicle is required to turn on four-way flashers is dangerous and outdated.
The NYS Department of Transportation recognizes the need to warn motorists of slow moving vehicles by erecting these signs instructing drivers to use their four-way flashers. Although not required by law, the agency realizes the notification is good public policy and offers protection to the driving public. Enactment of this bill would extend this policy by requiring the NYS Department of Transportation or NYS Thruway Authority to post signs requiring the use of four-way flashers in the event that a motor vehicle is traveling 15 miles per hour or less than the posted speed limit on a given portion of a roadway.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2003-04: S.1058/A.1994 No action. 2005-06: S.1207 Referred to Transportation 2007-08: S.2809 Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : To be determined.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None known to local municipalities.
EFFECTIVE DATE : 180 days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1960 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 10, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. STACHOWSKI -- 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 the use of hazard lights when traveling at certain speeds THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (e) of section 1163 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 388 of the laws of 1970, is amended to read as follows: (e) The driver of a vehicle equipped with simultaneously flashing signals as provided for in subdivision eighteen-a of section three hundred seventy-five OF THIS CHAPTER shall use such signals when (I) the vehicle is stopped or disabled on a public highway, except when such vehicle is stopped in compliance with a traffic-control device or when legally parked; OR (II) WHEN THE DRIVER IS OPERATING THE VEHICLE AT A SPEED SLOWER THAN OR EQUAL TO FIFTEEN MILES PER HOUR BELOW THE POSTED MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT. The driver of a vehicle so equipped may use such signals whenever necessary to warn the operators of following vehicles of the presence of a traffic hazard ahead of the signaling vehicle, or to warn the operators of other vehicles that the signaling vehicle may itself constitute a traffic hazard, taking into account traffic and highway conditions. No person shall use such signals for any other purpose. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03173-01-9