Enacts "Valeria's law"; requires police officers to notify family members in person of a relative's death in certain circumstances.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring police officers to notify family members in person of a relative's death in certain circumstances
PURPOSE: Require police officers to notify a family member in person, when a relative has died.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Act shall be known as Valeria's Law. Section 2. In each motor vehicle accident or any other event or incident in which any person is killed who was not in violation of the law. Police officer, or agency, or individual who in the regular course of duty investigates such event shall use reasonable efforts to identify and notify in person a member of the person's family or household.
EXISTING LAW: None exists.
JUSTIFICATION: Receiving the news that a loved one or a family member has died is a very emotion filled occurrence. The family members may be on an emotional roller coaster at that time and its important to be there in person to provide them with outlets, or resources they can go to or use to help them cope with their loss.
In one such notification a police officer taped a yellow sticky note to the family's front door telling them to call the morgue because their daughter had been killed. Also cited were families who frequently received death notifications over the telephone. In one such telephone delivery, a father suffered a heart attack and subsequently died following the notification from a Medical examiner's employee seeking dental records for his son who had died in a vehicle fire. An Omaha, Nebraska Police officer was fired after leaving a death notification on a family's answering machine.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the Ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3141 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 9, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. HUNTLEY -- 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 requiring police officers to notify family members in person of a relative's death in certain circumstances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Valeria's law". S 2. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 603-c to read as follows: S 603-C. ACCIDENTS; POLICE TO NOTIFY IN PERSON. 1. IN EACH MOTOR VEHI- CLE ACCIDENT OR ANY OTHER EVENT OR INCIDENT IN WHICH ANY PERSON IS KILLED, WHO WAS NOT IN VIOLATION OF ANY LAW, RULES, REGULATIONS, PROCE- DURES OR SUMMONS, THE POLICE OFFICER, AGENCY OR INDIVIDUAL WHO, IN THE REGULAR COURSE OF DUTY, INVESTIGATES SUCH ACCIDENT, EVENT OR INCIDENT SHALL USE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO IDENTIFY AND NOTIFY IN PERSON, A MEMBER OF THE PERSON'S FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD OF THE FATALITY AS SOON AS PRACTICA- BLE AFTER SUCH ACCIDENT, EVENT OR INCIDENT. 2. SUCH NOTIFICATION SHALL INDICATE THAT THE PERSON WAS KILLED, THE LOCATION OF THE ACCIDENT, EVENT OR INCIDENT AND THE LOCATION OF THE PERSON'S BODY OR REMAINS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07065-01-1