Bill S2479-2013

Creates the crimes of dangerous driving in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees

Creates the crimes of dangerous driving in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees; imposes criminal liability on drivers who continue to operate motor vehicles in violation of the vehicle and traffic law and cause injury as a result.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 17, 2013: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2479

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of dangerous driving in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Amends the Penal Law to impose criminal liability on drivers who continue to operate motor vehicles in violation of the vehicle and traffic law and cause injury as a result.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends the Penal Law to create crimes of Dangerous Driving, by adding new provisions which impose criminal liability on drivers who continue to operate motor vehicles in an unsafe manner or with suspended licenses. If a motorist has been convicted of two violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and has an accident that causes physical injury or death while operating a vehicle in violation of law, that driver would be guilty of a separate criminal offense and subject to criminal liability. The penalties range from one year to twenty five years depending on the severity of the injury.

JUSTIFICATION: Drivers who continue to operate motor vehicles in an unsafe manner should not be able to escape criminal liability for causing "accidents" which injure innocent drivers or pedestrians. A person who has prior convictions for unsafe driving should not continue to drive in a manner that is dangerous to others. These dangerous drivers who cause injury to others in what is incorrectly deemed an "accident" should face criminal prosecution for continually flaunting the rules of the road. Also, drivers who operate motor vehicles with a suspended license or no license must be prosecuted if they cause injury to others. A license to drive is a privilege and not a license to kill or injure. Those who flagrantly violate the Vehicle and Traffic Law must be held accountable for the injuries they cause. This legislation sends a clear message that we will no longer permit dangerous drivers to escape responsibility for their misconduct by incorrectly calling it an "accident."

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012: A.365 - Died in Codes/S.5097 Died in Codes; 2009-2010: A.2589 - Died in Transportation; 2008: A.2649-A - Died in Codes/S.5584- Passed Senate; 2007: A.2649A/S.5584-A - Remained in Codes: 2005-2006: A.7885/S.5333 - Died in Codes; 2004: A.10542 - Died in Codes.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 1st of November next succeeding that date on which it shall become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2479 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of dangerous driving in the fifth, fourth, third, second and first degrees THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding five new sections 120.71, 120.72, 120.73, 120.74 and 120.75 to read as follows: S 120.71 DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIFTH DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIFTH DEGREE, WHEN HE OR SHE, HAVING BEEN CONVICTED WITHIN THE PRECEDING EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF ANY TWO VIOLATIONS OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED NINE, FIVE HUNDRED ELEVEN, SIX HUNDRED, ELEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO, ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO, ELEV- EN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A OR TWELVE HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF ANY OF SUCH SECTIONS OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, AND IN DOING SO CAUSES PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON. DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIFTH DEGREE IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. S 120.72 DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FOURTH DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FOURTH DEGREE, WHEN HE OR SHE, KNOWINGLY HAS IN EFFECT THREE OR MORE SUSPENSIONS, IMPOSED ON AT LEAST THREE SEPARATE DATES FOR FAILURE TO ANSWER, APPEAR, OR PAY A FINE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW OR PARAGRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE CAUSES PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON. DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FOURTH DEGREE IS A CLASS E FELONY. S 120.73 DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE THIRD DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE THIRD DEGREE, WHEN HE OR SHE, (A) KNOWINGLY HAS IN EFFECT TEN OR MORE SUSPENSIONS, IMPOSED ON
AT LEAST TEN SEPARATE DATES FOR FAILURE TO ANSWER, APPEAR, OR PAY A FINE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW OR PARAGRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE CAUSES PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON; (B) HAVING BEEN CONVICTED WITHIN THE PRECEDING EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF ANY TWO VIOLATIONS OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED NINE, FIVE HUNDRED ELEVEN, SIX HUNDRED, ELEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO, ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO, ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A, OR TWELVE HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF ANY SUCH SECTIONS OF THE VEHI- CLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, AND IN DOING SO CAUSES SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON; OR (C) WHEN HE OR SHE, KNOWINGLY HAS IN EFFECT THREE OR MORE SUSPENSIONS, IMPOSED ON AT LEAST THREE SEPARATE DATES FOR FAILURE TO ANSWER, APPEAR, OR PAY A FINE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW OR PARA- GRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE CAUSES SERIOUS PHYS- ICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON. DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE THIRD DEGREE IS A CLASS D FELONY. S 120.74 DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE SECOND DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE SECOND DEGREE, WHEN HE OR SHE, (A) KNOWINGLY HAS IN EFFECT TEN OR MORE SUSPENSIONS, IMPOSED ON AT LEAST TEN SEPARATE DATES FOR FAILURE TO ANSWER, APPEAR, OR PAY A FINE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW OR PARAGRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE CAUSES SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO ANOTHER PERSON; OR (B) HAVING BEEN CONVICTED WITHIN THE PRECEDING EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF ANY TWO VIOLATIONS OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED NINE, FIVE HUNDRED ELEVEN, SIX HUNDRED, ELEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY-TWO, ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO, ELEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-TWO-A, OR TWELVE HUNDRED TWELVE OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAF- FIC LAW, HE OR SHE OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE IN VIOLATION OF ANY OF SUCH SECTIONS OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW, AND IN DOING SO CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON. DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE SECOND DEGREE IS A CLASS C FELONY. S 120.75 DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIRST DEGREE. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIRST DEGREE, WHEN HE OR SHE, KNOWINGLY HAS IN EFFECT TEN OR MORE SUSPENSIONS, IMPOSED ON AT LEAST TEN SEPARATE DATES FOR FAILURE TO ANSWER, APPEAR, OR PAY A FINE PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW OR PARAGRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF SECTION FIVE HUNDRED TEN OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW AND WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE CAUSES THE DEATH OF ANOTHER PERSON. DANGEROUS DRIVING IN THE FIRST DEGREE IS A CLASS B FELONY. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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