Regulates the length of car carriers and tow trucks.
Ayes (58): Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (3): Golden, Hassell-Thomps, Smith
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the length of car carriers and tow trucks
To allow for three feet of "overhang," which is defined to include that portion of a transported vehicle that extends beyond the rear bumper of a car carrier and to provide that a wheel lift shall not be included as part of the length of a tow truck or car carrier when engaged in the towing of another vehicle.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Adds a new section, § 105-a, of the vehicle and traffic law to define a "car carrier."
Section 2. Amends section 127 of the vehicle and traffic law to define "overhang" to include that portion of a transported motor vehicle that extends beyond the rear bumper of a car carrier.
Section 3. Adds a new section 160 to define a "wheel lift."
Section 4. Adds a new subdivision (g) of section 385 (3) of the vehicle and traffic law to allow for three feet of overhang on a car carrier and to provide that a wheel lift or other such device shall not be included as part of the length of a tow truck or car carrier when engaged in the towing of another vehicle.
Section 5. Provides that the act shall take effect immediately.
Many car carriers are more than thirty nine feet in length unloaded. When loaded, the rearmost vehicle usually extends beyond the rear bumper of the car carrier by approximately three feet, which exceeds the forty-foot "bumper to bumper" limit that is permitted under New York law. As a result, these vehicles cannot be utilized to their fullest capacity in New York, thereby reducing the efficiencies that were contemplated when they were designed. This underutilization, in turn, results in greater fuel consumption and increased traffic on our highways. It should also be noted that hundreds of these car carriers were brought into New York State to remove cars that were damaged during Super Storm Sandy. Accordingly, this bill seeks to allow these vehicles to operate legally in New York.
Also, many tow trucks and car carriers are designed to be just shy of 40 feet in length (measured with a fully retracted wheel lift) because it is unsafe to tow a heavy load with a vehicle with a shorter wheel base. In this regard, a tow truck is not unlike a teeter totter with the rear wheels acting as the fulcrum. A heavy load (i.e., a tractor, cement truck, etc.) that is positioned 10 to 15 feet behind the rear wheels can actually lift the front wheels of a tow truck with a short wheel base off the ground. Recently, some police agencies have interpreted the law to require a car carrier or tow truck to remain under the 40 foot length with a wheel lift that is extended. Such an
interpretation, which is out of sync with the rest of the country, would render many car carriers, all heavy duty tow trucks and some medium duty tow trucks illegal while towing another vehicle. More importantly, it would also make it impossible to safely tow a heavy load.
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6623--B Cal. No. 515 IN SENATE February 19, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading -- again amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the length of car carriers and tow trucks THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 105-a of the vehicle and traffic law is renumbered section 105-b and a new section 105-a is added to read as follows: S 105-A. CAR CARRIER. A TRUCK THAT IS DESIGNED TO CARRY ONE TO THREE MOTOR VEHICLES ON A FLAT PLATFORM THAT SLIDES OR TILTS TO THE GROUND TO FACILITATE LOADING AND UNLOADING OF SUCH MOTOR VEHICLES AND TO TOW AN ADDITIONAL MOTOR VEHICLE BEHIND IT BY THE USE OF A WHEEL LIFT. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS CHAPTER, WHENEVER SUCH CAR CARRIER TOWS OR CARRIES A DISABLED, ILLEGALLY PARKED OR ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE OR A MOTOR VEHICLE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT, SUCH CAR CARRIER SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A TOW TRUCK AND SHALL COMPLY WITH ALL PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER, AND ANY OTHER LAW, ORDINANCE, ORDER, RULE AND REGULATION, APPLICABLE TO TOW TRUCKS. S 2. Section 127 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 26 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: S 127. Overhang. That portion of a transported vehicle or boat which extends beyond the front or rear bumper of an automobile transporter or stinger-steered automobile transporter or boat transporter or stinger- steered boat transporter, OR THAT PORTION OF A TRANSPORTED VEHICLE THAT EXTENDS BEYOND THE REAR BUMPER OF A CAR CARRIER. S 3. Section 160 of the vehicle and traffic law is renumbered 161 and a new section 160 is added to read as follows: S 160. WHEEL LIFT. ANY DEVICE THAT MAY BE EXTENDED BEYOND THE REAR BUMPER OF A TOW TRUCK OR CAR CARRIER FOR THE PURPOSE OF TOWING ANOTHER VEHICLE. SUCH DEVICE MAY ALSO BE REFERRED TO AS AN "UNDER LIFT".EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14065-03-4 S. 6623--B 2
S 4. Paragraph (g) of subdivision 3 of section 385 of the vehicle and traffic law is relettered paragraph (h) and a new paragraph (g) is added to read as follows: (G) THE LENGTH OF A TOW TRUCK OR CAR CARRIER, INCLUSIVE OF LOAD AND BUMPERS, SHALL BE NOT MORE THAN FORTY FEET, EXCEPT THAT A CAR CARRIER MAY HAVE AN OVERHANG THAT EXTENDS BEYOND THE REAR BUMPER OF SUCH CAR CARRIER BY NOT MORE THAN THREE FEET AND EXCEPT, FURTHER, THAT A WHEEL LIFT THAT IS LESS THAN FIFTEEN FEET IN LENGTH SHALL NOT BE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE LENGTH OF A TOW TRUCK OR CAR CARRIER WHEN SUCH WHEEL LIFT IS IN USE BY SUCH TOW TRUCK OR CAR CARRIER TO TOW ANOTHER MOTOR VEHICLE. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.