Bill S7860-2013

Relates to equipping vehicles with radio devices

Relates to equipping vehicles with radio devices.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 19, 2014: referred to transportation
  • Jun 19, 2014: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 19, 2014: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 19, 2014: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1630
  • Jun 16, 2014: REFERRED TO RULES

Meetings

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Rules - Jun 19, 2014
Ayes (22): Skelos, Libous, Bonacic, Carlucci, Farley, Flanagan, Hannon, Larkin, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Nozzolio, Seward, Valesky, Stewart-Cousins, Breslin, Dilan, Krueger, Montgomery, Parker, Perkins, Gianaris
Ayes W/R (1): Little
Excused (2): Hassell-Thompson, Espaillat

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7860

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to equipping vehicles with radio devices

Purpose: The purpose of this bill is to improve and enhance the State's prevention, preparedness and disaster response operations by exempting authorized personnel of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) from application of Vehicle and-Traffic Law (VTL) § 397 which prohibits any person who is not a police or peace officer, or who does not possess a special permit or amateur radio license, from equipping a motor-vehicle with radio receiving sets capable of receiving signals on frequencies allocated for police use. DHSES's prevention, preparedness and response missions require that it be capable of maintaining effective and uninterrupted communications with its partner State and local agencies.

Summary of Provisions:

Section 1 of the bill would amend VTL § 397 to exempt authorized DHSES employees acting within the scope of their duties from enforcement of such section, thereby allowing DHSES employees to carry police-frequency radio equipment in vehicles without penalty.

Section 2 would provide that the bill takes effect immediately.

Existing Law: Any person, who is not a police officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties, or who does not possess a special permit or amateur license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), who equips a motor vehicle with a radio set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use is guilty of a misdemeanor under VTL § 397.

There is no such prohibition on carrying radio equipment or listening to radio frequencies allocated for police use when not inside of a motor vehicle, except if making an unauthorized radio transmission (Penal Law section§ 190.72), or possessing the radio device with the intent to commit robbery, burglary, larceny, gambling or any violation of Article 220 of the Penal Law {Penal Law § 140.40).

Legislative History: This is a new bill.

Statement in Support: The prohibitions in VTL § 397 were originally intended to protect against the misuse of restricted radio frequencies in vehicles by criminals and did not anticipate the future reliance on such frequencies by the State's disaster response officials. In the course of discharging its statutory duties, DHSES routinely requires access to such frequencies in order to communicate effectively with its partner agencies in localities throughout the State. Effective inter-agency communication is necessary to ensure that vital information regarding disasters and other emergencies is timely received by DHSES so that it may properly direct the State's response and co-ordinate its efforts with those of the affected localities. This bill would modernize VTL § 397 to reflect the nature of DHSES's statutory duties and corresponding communications needs by exempting authorized agency personnel from its application.

Budget Implications: None.

Local impact: None.

Effective Date: This bill would take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7860 IN SENATE June 16, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- (at request of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to equipping vehicles with radio devices THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 397 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 843 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows: S 397. Equipping motor vehicles with radio receiving sets capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use. A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowing- ly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit so to do from the person author- ized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city or village in a county having a county police department by the board of supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs, OR PROHIBIT ANY AUTHORIZED PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES FROM EQUIPPING A VEHICLE WITH AN AUTHORIZED, STATE-ISSUED AFFIXED, MOBILE OR PORTABLE RADIO APPARATUS CAPABLE OF TRANSMITTING OR RECEIVING SIGNALS ON THE FREQUENCIES ALLOCATED FOR POLICE USE OR USING A MOTOR VEHICLE SO EQUIPPED. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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