Requires vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts to have safety belts that are used to secure individuals in wheelchairs while being lifted from or into a vehicle.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to wheelchair transfer safety
PURPOSE: Any vehicle that is equipped with a wheelchair lift shall also be equipped with a safety belt that shall be used to secure individuals in wheel chairs while they are being lifted from or into such vehicle.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended as defined in the bill.
JUSTIFICATION: Recent fatal accidents involving wheelchair bound individuals being improperly transferred from vehicles without the use of a safety belt have brought attention to the issue of wheelchair transfer safety. Ninety-year-old Nancy Deffaa was wheelchair bound. She fell from a transportation vehicle for wheelchairs after being placed in the open doorway of the vehicle without a safety belt. She fell from her wheelchair to the ground breaking bones in both her legs and arms. After two weeks of severe pain Nancy Deffaa died. Volunteer or municipal ambulances, invalid coaches, and any motor vehicle intended for livery service should be designed to maximize the safety and mobility of the individuals who depend on those services. If Nancy Deffaa was wearing a safety belt her injuries, pain, and death may have been prevented. By requiring that any vehicle that is equipped with a wheelchair lift also be equipped with a safety belt, we can help prevent accidents like Nancy's from happening to anyone else.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2006: A.11063 Referred to Transportation 2007: A.686 Referred to Transportation 2008: A.686 Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2151 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 18, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. McDONALD, HASSELL-THOMPSON, LARKIN -- 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 wheelchair transfer safety 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 52 to read as follows: 52. ANY VEHICLE THAT IS EQUIPPED WITH A WHEELCHAIR LIFT SHALL ALSO BE EQUIPPED WITH A SAFETY BELT THAT SHALL BE USED TO SECURE INDIVIDUALS IN WHEELCHAIRS WHILE THEY ARE BEING LIFTED FROM OR INTO SUCH VEHICLE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01574-01-1