Requires convex mirrors on certain truck, tractor and tractor-trailer or semitrailer combination registered in this state having a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more; makes related provisions; repeals such law if federal law is implemented; provides notification to legislative bill drafting commission if such federal law is implemented.
BILL NUMBER: S2057
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to convex mirrors
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
This bill would amend Section 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law by adding a new subdivision 10-e to require all trucks, tractors and tractor-trailers or semi-trailer combinations registered in New York State having a maximum gross weight of twenty six thousand pounds or more and a conventional cab configuration in which more than half of the engine length is forward of the foremost point of the windshield base and the steering wheel hub is in the forward quarter of the vehicle length, to be equipped with a convex mirror on the front of the vehicle whenever operated within a city having a population of one million or more on highways other than controlled-access highways.
The City of New York strongly supports this legislation to require that certain trucks operated on highways within the City, except controlled-access highways, possess a convex or "cross over" mirror. This legislation applies to trucks having a gross vehicle weight rating of twenty six thousand pounds or more and a conventional cab configuration in which more than half of the engine length is forward of the foremost point of the windshield base and the steering wheel hub is in the forward quarter of the vehicle length - those trucks that would benefit the most from this safety feature. It will eliminate a truck driver' s"blind spot" and allow a truck driver to see any person at least three feet tall passing at least one foot in front of the vehicle. It is designed to reduce the risk of pedestrian deaths and injuries, which can occur when truck drivers are unable to see persons directly in front of their vehicles. The inability of truck drivers to see the area immediately in front of the truck has contributed to a significant number of pedestrian deaths and injuries in New York City since the mid-1980s.
There is a clear pattern to these types of accidents. In most cases, the truck is initially stopped or moving at slow speed. The driver then proceeds, looking forward and not knowing that a pedestrian is crossing directly in front of the truck (in this large and dangerous "blind spot"). The pedestrian most often is an older adult or a child. Many of these accidents could be prevented by the use of cross over mirrors. These mirrors have been required on school buses since the mid-1970S to allow drivers to see children crossing in front of buses.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Traffic safety Facts for 2005 Report (the most recent report that is available), 71% of pedestrians killed by large trucks were initially impacted from the front of the truck. Furthermore, from 1994 to 2003, in New York city, the number of accidents involving trucks and pedestrians that resulted in death or injury were 204 and 4,698 respectively. Cross over mirrors would prove beneficial in lowering these statistics.
The benefits of these mirrors in preventing injury and/or death far exceed their cost. Cross over mirrors are relatively inexpensive and manufacturers typically offer them below list price, as well as provide discounts for bulk orders. According to list prices, the mirror heads themselves cost approximately $10 to $29 each; and assembly kits are available for approximately $23 to $57 each which include not only the mirror head itself, but also adjustable braces and mounting hardware as well. The exact cost depends on whether it is a hood mounted, short tripod or standard tripod kit that is being purchased. This relatively minor cost represents an important investment in the safety of people in New York city.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE : The one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2057 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 11, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- 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 convex mirrors THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10-e to read as follows: 10-E. EVERY TRUCK, TRACTOR, AND TRACTOR-TRAILER OR SEMITRAILER COMBI- NATION REGISTERED IN THIS STATE HAVING A GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING OF TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND POUNDS OR MORE, AND A CONVENTIONAL CAB CONFIGURATION IN WHICH MORE THAN HALF OF THE ENGINE LENGTH IS FORWARD OF THE FOREMOST POINT OF THE WINDSHIELD BASE AND THE STEERING WHEEL HUB IS IN THE FORWARD QUARTER OF THE VEHICLE LENGTH, WHENEVER OPERATED WITHIN A CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE ON HIGHWAYS OTHER THAN CONT- ROLLED-ACCESS HIGHWAYS, SHALL BE EQUIPPED WITH A CONVEX MIRROR ON THE FRONT OF SUCH VEHICLE OR COMBINATION OF VEHICLES. WHEN SUCH VEHICLE OR COMBINATION OF VEHICLES IS BEING OPERATED, SUCH MIRROR SHALL BE ADJUSTED SO AS TO ENABLE THE OPERATOR THEREOF TO SEE ALL POINTS ON AN IMAGINARY HORIZONTAL LINE WHICH: (A) IS THREE FEET ABOVE THE ROAD; (B) IS ONE FOOT DIRECTLY FORWARD FROM THE MIDPOINT OF THE FRONT OF SUCH MOTOR VEHICLE; AND (C) EXTENDS THE FULL WIDTH OF THE FRONT OF SUCH VEHICLE OR COMBINA- TION OF VEHICLES. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION, MAY PROMULGATE RULES AND REGU- LATIONS EXEMPTING FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBDIVISION ANY VEHICLE OR COMBINATION OF VEHICLES WHERE SUCH COMMISSIONER HAS DETERMINED THAT THE USE OF SUCH CONVEX MIRRORS WOULD NOT INCREASE THE VISIBILITY OF PERSONS OR OBJECTS LOCATED DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF SUCH VEHICLE OR COMBINA- TION OF VEHICLES.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08899-01-9 S. 2057 2
S 2. This act shall be deemed repealed if any federal agency or any court of competent jurisdiction finally determines that this act would render New York state ineligible for the receipt of federal funds. S 3. Severability. If any clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part of this act be adjudged by any court of competent juris- diction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invali- date the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date; and provided that the commissioner of the department of transportation shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the occur- rence of the provisions of section two of this act in order that the commission may maintain an accurate data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effecting the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.