Provides that on or after January 29, 2014, no cell phone retailer shall sell or lease a cell phone in New York state which does not contain geofencing technology which is activated and operational on such phone; defines terms; imposes civil penalties and fines.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to providing that no cell phone retailer shall sell or lease a cell phone in New York state which does not contain geofencing technology
To ensure that every cell phone sold in New York State has at the time of sale the ability to prevent text messaging, emailing and other data transfers while the user of the cell phone is in a motor vehicle traveling at speeds of 10 miles per hour or more.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill defines "geofencing technology", "engaging in the business of selling, or leasing cell phones", "cell phone" and "cell phone retailer"; requires that geofencing technology is on all cell phones sold in New York State and activated; and establishes penalties for violation of this article.
Section 2 of the bill establishes that the effective date is January 29, 2014.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation addresses what the United States Secretary of Transportation describes as an epidemic on America's roadways - distracted driving. The results are tragic preventable accidents. In 2011, 3,331 people died in accidents connected with distracted driving and an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. One of the leading causes of distracted driving is texting behind the wheel. Texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted and is now the leading cause of death for teenage drivers, surpassing drinking and driving. Although New York State does ban texting and driving, driver behavior surveys and the number of accidents and deaths attributable to distracted driving indicate that the anti-texting campaigns and laws are not having their desired effect. According to the author of one study, "regrettably, our analysis suggests that state laws do not significantly reduce teen texting while driving. Technological solutions will likely need to be developed to significantly reduce the frequency of texting while driving... phones will have to get smarter if they are to protect teens (and others) from doing dumb things." A number of t echnological solutions do in fact exist; however, there is no requirement to inform consumers of this technology nor is there a requirement that they be installed and operational on cell phones. This legislation remedies the situation and requires that all cell phones sold in New York State be sold with technology that prevents texting and driving.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
January 29, 2014
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5576 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 22, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'BRIEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to providing that no cell phone retailer shall sell or lease a cell phone in New York state which does not contain geofencing technology THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article 39-H to read as follows: ARTICLE 39-H GEOFENCING TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED SECTION 899-AAAA. GEOFENCING TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED. S 899-AAAA. GEOFENCING TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED. 1. DEFINITIONS. AS USED IN THIS ARTICLE, UNLESS THE CONTEXT REQUIRES OTHERWISE: A. "PERSON" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL, FIRM, COMPANY, ASSOCIATION, PARTNER- SHIP, LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY OR CORPORATION. B. "TO ENGAGE IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING, OR LEASING CELL PHONES" MEANS AND REFERS TO A PERSON WHO HOLDS HIMSELF OUT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECT- LY, AS BEING ABLE, OR WHO OFFERS OR UNDERTAKES, BY ANY MEANS OR METHOD, TO SELL, OR LEASE A MOBILE PHONE. C. "CELL PHONE" MEANS A PORTABLE WIRELESS TELEPHONE DEVICE THAT IS DESIGNED TO SEND OR RECEIVE TRANSMISSIONS THROUGH A CELLULAR RADIO TELE- PHONE SERVICE, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 22.99 OF TITLE 47 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. A CELL PHONE DOES NOT INCLUDE A WIRELESS TELEPHONE DEVICE THAT IS INTEGRATED INTO THE ELECTRICAL ARCHITECTURE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE. D. "CELL PHONE RETAILER" MEANS A PERSON AS HEREIN DEFINED THAT ENGAGES IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING OR LEASING CELL PHONES UNDER THIS ARTICLE. E. "GEOFENCING TECHNOLOGY" MEANS SOFTWARE, APPLICATION, OR DEVICE WHICH TOGETHER WITH DATA FROM A CELL PHONE INDICATES THAT THE USER OF THE PHONE IS DRIVING, AND DISABLES USE OF THE CELL PHONE UNDER THESEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11209-01-3 S. 5576 2
CONDITIONS AND WHICH WOULD NOT REQUIRE A PERSON TO VIOLATE SECTIONS TWELVE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE-C OR TWELVE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE-D OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC LAW TO ENABLE OR ACTIVATE SUCH SOFTWARE, APPLICATION OR DEVICE. F. "DISABLE" SHALL MEAN, PREVENTING THE USING OF A CELL PHONE IN A MOTOR VEHICLE MOVING AT SPEEDS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO TEN MILES PER HOUR. G. "USING" SHALL MEAN HOLDING A CELL PHONE WHILE VIEWING, TAKING OR TRANSMITTING IMAGES, PLAYING GAMES, OR COMPOSING, SENDING, READING, VIEWING, ACCESSING, BROWSING, TRANSMITTING, SAVING OR RETRIEVING E-MAIL, TEXT MESSAGES, OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DATA. 2. ON OR AFTER JANUARY TWENTY-NINTH, TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN NO CELL PHONE RETAILER SHALL SELL OR LEASE ANY CELL PHONE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK WHICH DOES NOT CONTAIN GEOFENCING TECHNOLOGY WHICH IS ACTIVATED AND OPERATIONAL ON SUCH CELL PHONE. 3. ANY CELL PHONE RETAILER THAT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ENGAGES IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING OR LEASING CELL PHONES, THAT VIOLATES ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, OR DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY EMPLOYS, PERMITS OR AUTHORIZES THE SALE OR LEASE OF CELL PHONES, IN VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE GUILTY OF A MISDEMEANOR AND, UPON CONVICTION, SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BY IMPRISONMENT OF NOT MORE THAN ONE YEAR OR BY A FINE OF NOT LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS NOR MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS UPON A SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION. EACH VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE DEEMED A SEPARATE OFFENSE. S 2. This act shall take effect January 29, 2014.