Enhances the fitness and safety requirements for certain licensed individuals and establishes the "New York state task force on the effects of aging on driving ability".
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to enhancing the fitness and safety requirements for certain licensed individuals and establishes the New York state task force on the effects of aging on driving ability
PURPOSE: To ensure the safety for drivers, pedestrians, and others who may use New York state roadways
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Definitions.
Section 2: Upon the seventh application submission and thereafter for a renewal of a driver's license, applicants must submit proof of a physical examination, conducted by a licensed physician, to prove that the licensee is medically fit to operate a motor vehicle.
Section 3: Creates a task force to study the effects of aging on driving ability and availability of alternative forms of transportation.
Section 4: Task force members
Section 5: Compensation and Vacancies
Section 6: The Task force shall report its findings to the governor and the legislature
Section 7: This act shall take effect immediately
EXISTING LAW: Currently in New York state the only testing performed during the license renewal process is a vision examination.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently unsafe drivers may be reported to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles if they suffer from medical conditions. However, this can be problematic because the NYSDMV has to rely entirely on others to report medical conditions and unsafe drivers_ it is imperative that drivers who present a higher risk on the road because of a decline of essential driving skills such as vision, hearing, reaction time, and motor abilities have their licenses either suspended or revoked. AAA released a report revealing statistics regarding the percentage of drivers Over a specific age that have reported some impairment to an essential driving function,
An estimated 20% of American drivers over the age of 65 have cataract in one eye with that number expected to rise to 3 million in 2020. An estimated 199,000 American drivers over the age of 65 have glaucoma. The report also highlights the fact that one study suggests that 87% of stroke victims do not receive any type of formal driving evaluation and simply just resume driving. Another statistic
pertaining to motor skills that is important to know is that according to the senior drivers organization 80% of drivers over the age of 70 suffer from arthritis, crippling inflammation of the joints, which makes turning, flexing and twisting painful. Drivers that fall under this statistic would essentially have a severely reduced ability to react quickly in any given situation.
Lastly, vision is also a vital part of driving and the time necessary for eyes to adjust to light is crucial. Senior drivers organization reports that compared to a 16 year old, a driver who is 55 years old or older takes eight times longer to recover from a glare. These statistics reflect the percentage of Americans that have impairment to an essential driving function and further reinforces the notion that a great degree of caution needs to be taken when determining who is physically able to drive. This proposed bill would expand New York's current regulations and mandate physical examinations starting at the seventh application submission for the renewal of a driver's license.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.6863/A.9829 - Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Unknown.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2829 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 24, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- 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 enhancing the fitness and safety requirements for certain licensed individuals and establishes the New York state task force on the effects of aging on driving ability THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 2-a to read as follows: 2-A. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "FIT" SHALL MEAN DEEMED BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN TO HAVE THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CAPACITY TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE. S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 6 of section 502 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by section 3 of part K of chapter 59 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: (a) A license issued pursuant to subdivision five of this section shall be valid until the expiration date contained thereon, unless such license is suspended, revoked or cancelled. Such license may be renewed by submission of an application for renewal, the fee prescribed by law, proofs of prior licensing, fitness and acceptable vision prescribed by the commissioner, the applicant's social security number, and if required by the commissioner a photo image of the applicant in such numbers and form as the commissioner shall prescribe. UPON THE SEVENTH APPLICATION SUBMISSION, AND THEREAFTER FOR A RENEWAL OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE, APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT PROOF OF A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION, CONDUCTED BY A LICENSED PHYSICIAN, TO PROVE THAT THE LICENSEE IS MEDICALLY FIT TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE. In addition, an applicant for renewal of a license containing a hazardous material endorsement shall pass an examination to retain such endorsement. The commissioner shall, with respect to the renewal of a hazardous materials endorsement, complyEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00962-01-3 S. 2829 2
with the requirements imposed upon states by sections 383.141 and 1572.13 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations. A renewal of such license shall be issued by the commissioner upon approval of such application, except that no such license shall be issued if its issuance would be inconsistent with the provisions of section five hundred sixteen of this title, and except that the commissioner may refuse to renew such license if the applicant is the holder of a currently valid or renewable license to drive issued by another state or foreign country unless the applicant surrenders such license. S 3. a. The "New York state task force on the effects of aging on driving ability" is hereby established (hereinafter referred to as the "task force"). The task force shall study the effects of aging on driv- ing ability and develop a comprehensive approach to licensing drivers. b. Such study shall include: (i) Effective and efficient identification of drivers at risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident because of functional limitations that affect their driving ability; (ii) Prevalence and effect of degenerative processes affecting vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive functions, and reaction time; (iii) Implementation and effect of the department's vision screening requirements and examination of new technologies; (iv) Availability and effectiveness of remedial measures such as skills training, adaptive equipment, physical therapy, and adjustment of driving practices that will allow people to drive safely for as long as possible; (v) Availability of alternative forms of transportation for people who can no longer safely drive; and (vi) Effectiveness of existing public education initiatives relating to at-risk drivers. S 4. Such task force shall consist of the following members, which shall each serve for a term of two years: a. one member appointed by the governor; b. one member appointed by the temporary president of the senate; c. one member appointed by the minority leader of the senate; d. one member appointed by the speaker of the assembly; e. one member appointed by the minority leader of the assembly; and f. two members appointed by the commissioner of the department of motor vehicles. S 5. Such members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for all expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Vacan- cies in office shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. S 6. The task force shall report its findings from such study and make recommendations with supporting legislation to the governor and the legislature within one year of the effective date of this act. S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.