Relates to the safety of funeral processions; provides that vehicles participating in funeral procession shall have the right-of-way; makes it illegal for any vehicle to forcefully enter spaces between vehicles in a procession; provides that vehicles entering a procession illegally shall be subject to a civil fine of up to $100; provides that drivers in a funeral procession must exercise reasonable duty of care and shall yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles with siren or lights activated.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the safety of funeral processions
PURPOSE: This legislation would provide for civil penalty to an operator of a motor vehicle that may fail to yield the right of way or that would forcibly enter a funeral procession.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds a new section 1144-b to the vehicle and traffic law in that upon approach of a motor vehicle with appropriate indication of participation in a funeral procession, all motor vehicles shall yield the right-of-way to such procession and participants of such procession must proceed in a procession with reasonable duty of care and yield to any emergency vehicle with its lights or siren on.
Section 2 amends section 1129 of the vehicle and traffic law to provide for civil penalty of up to one hundred dollars to the driver of a motor vehicle that forcefully or otherwise enters space between vehicles in a funeral procession.
JUSTIFICATION: All too often funeral processions throughout the State of New York are interrupted by aggressive drivers that cut into the procession to get through traffic. This is not only dangerous to the drivers in the procession but it is disrespectful to the deceased and the family of the deceased. This legislation would impose a penalty to those drivers that interfere with a funeral procession and help to ensure the safety to all of the participants.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.2292/A.5163; Referred to Transportation 2011-12: S.3329/A.4082; Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately after becoming law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 376 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- 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 the safety of funeral processions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 1144-b to read as follows: S 1144-B. OPERATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES ON APPROACH OF MOTOR VEHICLES IN A FUNERAL PROCESSION. (A) UPON THE IMMEDIATE APPROACH OF A MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH HAS A BLACK FLAG WITH THE WORD "FUNERAL" AFFIXED TO IT IN THE MANNER PROVIDED FOR IN PARAGRAPH (FF) OF SUBDIVISION TWELVE-A OF SECTION THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE OF THIS CHAPTER, THE DRIVER OF EVERY OTHER MOTOR VEHICLE SHALL YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY AND SHALL IMMEDIATELY DRIVE TO A POSITION PARALLEL TO, AND AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO, THE RIGHT-HAND EDGE OF THE HIGHWAY, OR TO EITHER EDGE OF A ONE-WAY HIGHWAY THREE OR MORE LANES IN WIDTH, CLEAR OF ANY INTERSECTION, AND SHALL STOP AND REMAIN IN SUCH POSITION UNTIL THE MOTOR VEHICLE DISPLAYING SUCH FLAG HAS PASSED, UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY A POLICE OFFICER. (B) THIS SECTION SHALL NOT OPERATE TO RELIEVE THE DRIVER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE PARTICIPATING IN A BURIAL OR FUNERAL PROCESSION FROM THE DUTY TO DRIVE WITH REASONABLE CARE FOR ALL PERSONS USING THE HIGHWAY. (C) ANY PERSON OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO AN AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE ENGAGED IN EMERGENCY OPERATION WITH ITS SIREN OR LIGHTS ACTIVATED. S 2. Subdivision (c) of section 1129 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended to read as follows: (c) Motor vehicles being driven upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade whether or not towingEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02421-01-3 S. 376 2
other vehicles shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between each such vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other vehicle to enter and occupy such space without danger. This provision shall not apply to funeral processions. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION, A DRIVER OF A MOTOR VEHICLE SHALL NOT FORCE- FULLY OR OTHERWISE ENTER THE SPACE BETWEEN MOTOR VEHICLES IN A FUNERAL PROCESSION SO AS TO DISRUPT THE ORDERLY PROGRESSION AND MOVEMENT OF SAID PROCESSION. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE PUNISHED BY A CIVIL FINE OF UP TO ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.