Prohibits the use of hand-held communication devices while operating a vehicle on a public highway.
BILL NUMBER: S389A
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to use of hand-held communication devices while operating a motor vehicle
PURPOSE : This act would prohibit the use of hand-held communication devices while operating a motor vehicle.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1225-c of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding handheld communication devices among those devices prohibited from use while operating a motor vehicle.
JUSTIFICATION : Typing on a hand held communication device, an act more commonly known as text messaging, has recently topped the list of most dangerous driver distractions, Text messaging is being considered more dangerous than talking on cell phones and often times just as hazardous as driving under the influence. 'Texting' takes an individual's eyes and mind off the road, as well as their hands off the steering wheel while operating a motor vehicle. Earlier this year in Kentucky, an 18 year old driver told police that he took his eyes off the road to type a text message when he struck and killed a two year old boy. States such as California have recognized this problem and recently signed similar legislation into law. This manual means of communication must be prohibited in order to ensure the safety of New York's drivers and pedestrians.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007/2008 - S.580/A.6635 Remained in the Senate/Assembly Committee on Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 389--A A. 1028--A 2009-2010 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. BRESLIN, ADAMS, DUANE, KRUEGER, KRUGER, MONTGOMERY, ONORATO, SAMPSON, STACHOWSKI, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. CANESTRARI, ALESSI -- read once and referred to the Committee on Transportation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to use of hand- held communication devices while operating a motor vehicle THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1225-c of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 69 of the laws of 2001, is amended to read as follows: S 1225-c. Use of mobile telephones. 1. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall mean: (a) "Mobile telephone" shall mean the device used by subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to access such service. (A-1) "HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE" SHALL MEAN THE DEVICE USED BY SUBSCRIBERS THAT PROVIDES WIRELESS E-MAILS, PUSH E-MAIL, MOBILE TELE- PHONE SERVICE, TEXT MESSAGING, INTERNET FAXING, WEB BROWSING AND OTHER WIRELESS FUNCTIONS. THIS TERM SHALL ALSO MEAN AND INCLUDE A TWO-WAY RADIO DEVICE THAT PROVIDES RADIO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MOBILE AND LAND STATIONS OR BETWEEN MOBILE STATIONS. (b) "Wireless telephone service" shall mean two-way real time voice telecommunications service that is interconnected to a public switched telephone network and is provided by a commercial mobile radio service, as such term is defined by 47 C.F.R. S 20.3.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03416-02-9 S. 389--A 2 A. 1028--A
(c) "Using" shall mean holding a mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMU- NICATION DEVICE to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear OR PERFORMING TEXT MESSAGING, INTERNET FAXING, WEB BROWSING OR OTHER WIRE- LESS COMMUNICATION FUNCTIONS WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE UPON A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. (d) "Hand-held mobile telephone" OR "HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE" shall mean a mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand. (e) "Hands-free mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attach- ment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile tele- phone, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deacti- vate or initiate a function of such telephone. (f) "Engage in a call" shall mean talking into or listening on a hand- held mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE, but shall not include holding a mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone. (g) "Immediate proximity" shall mean that distance as permits the operator of a mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE to hear telecommunications transmitted over such mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE, but shall not require physical contact with such operator's ear. 2. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile tele- phone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion. (b) An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call. (c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authoriz- ing the seizure or forfeiture of a mobile telephone, unless otherwise provided by law. 3. Subdivision two of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a mobile telephone OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situ- ation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter,
[or](c) the use of a hands- free mobile telephone, OR (D) THE USE OF A MOBILE TELEPHONE OR HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION DEVICE IN CONNECTION WITH THE BUSINESS OF LICENSED FOR-HIRE VEHICLES. 4. A violation of subdivision two of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.