Legislative Issues

At the present time the legislative bills and matters that will be addressed here pertain to New York State. As we accomplish our goal of bills becoming laws, and we grow we will look at and publicize legislation throughout the country.

PLEASE READ FIRST

When you go to the Senate website and click on the "Legislation" link you will see the OPEN Legislation search box. When you enter the bill number you are looking for it will take you to a page that displays the bill with actions, memo, and the bill text. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page there is a box where you can leave comments about the bill and why you feel this is important. We are asking that if you feel the legislation we are bringing to your attention on this site is important, PLEASE let Albany know by leaving a comment.

This page references to bills that are pending in Albany, and laws that have been recently enacted. They all pertain to unlicensed or suspended / revoked licensed drivers, reckless drivers which include distracted drivers, and leaving the scene. As you read the descriptions of the violations the bills or laws address, you will be presented with links that will take you to pages that contain the bill / law numbers, a summary, and the committee that the bill is before, if it has not yet become a law. From those pages you can click on links to read the bills / laws in their entirety, and links to the committees and the members that sit on those committees.

Unlicensed / Suspended / Revoked

Presently in New York State as in every other state it is AGAINST the law to operate a motor vehicle without a license, it is also AGAINST the law to operate a motor vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked. If someone is caught driving without a license it is only an infraction, whereas if someone driving with a suspended / revoked license it is a misdemeanor. However if any of these persons cause a crash that results in injury or death, the injury or death is not even addressed. THIS MUST CHANGE.

In New York if a person driving with a suspended / revoked license causes injury or death it cannot be addressed in a criminal court for two reasons. First it will prejudice the defendant's case, and because of the way the law is interpreted. Prepare yourself for the explanation we were given, the only way that the injury or death can be addressed is if the person's physical license caused the crash. Yes you did read that correctly, IF THE LICENSE, the small card you carry in your wallet would have to have been responsible for the crash.

At some point in time, in some courtroom here in New York a defense lawyer came up with the argument that his clients license did not cause the crash, therefore he cannot be held responsible for the injury or death his suspended license caused. And at the same time a judge would have had to acknowledge this argument and find in favor of the defendant. The bottom line is most people that are capable of common sense thought realize that a license is nothing more than validation that someone has met the requirements of the state to be able to operate a motor vehicle.

When you read the first line of NYS VTL (Vehicle and Traffic Law) 511 it states; Operation while license or privilege is suspended or revoked.

In New York as in all states driving is a privilege, IT IS NOT A RIGHT. That means that your privilege to drive must be earned and can be taken away by the DMV or a judge at anytime if you do not obey the laws of the road, and drive repeatedly in a reckless manner.

If you click HERE you will be taken to a page containing bills relating to suspended drivers, and toxicology testing that are presently in Albany sitting in committees in both the Assembly and Senate. Bills similar to these have been introduced in Albany for more than a decade, but have never been brought to the floor of either house for a vote to become a law. It is time for this to change.

If you live in New York we are asking you to contact your state representatives in the Assembly and Senate and voice your anger and your support for these bills. You can find your representatives on the legislative websites by using the following links;

The Assembly:

The Senate:

Leaving the Scene

The number of drivers that cause a crash or hit a pedestrian and flee the scene is frightening. These drivers flee for many reasons, they are young and scared, they are drunk or under the influence of drugs, they do not have a valid license, or they may be wanted for other crimes. Regardless of the reasons, if you cause a crash or hit someone DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE, it will only make your situation worse.

Most of the time those who do leave the scene are apprehended, and will have additional charges filed against them. When any sort of incident occurs the possibility that it was seen, a plate number was written down, or a security camera filmed the incident, that persons chance of not being apprehended nearly disappears.

The new bills are addressing two different scenarios, first an incident that only involves property damage, and second incidents that involve bodily injury or death. We as a society have become far to comfortable with blaming our errors on something or someone else. If you are operating a vehicle YOU are responsible for anyone in the vehicle with you, and anyone outside the vehicle that you may come in contact with, end of discussion. As the driver the buck stops with you, if you are willing to accept being able to drive, than be willing to accept responsibility if something goes wrong and you are responsible.

If people paid attention to driving, and only driving the drop in the number of crashes would be staggering. When you drive you are responsible for controlling a two, three, four thousand pound guided missile. If you thought of it that way every time you get behind the wheel, and did not send or read a text message, talk on the phone, eat your lunch, or change the CD we would all be better off.

If you click HERE you will be taken to a page with bills pertaining to changing the penalty for leaving the scene.

If you live in New York we are asking you to contact your state representatives in the Assembly and Senate and voice your anger and your support for these bills. You can find your representatives on the legislative websites by using the following links;

The Assembly:

The Senate:

Distracted Driving

The title of this section is a general term that encompasses a great number of driver actions, and it is also self explanatory. Cell phone use whether for making or receiving calls, or making or receiving text messages. Using a laptop computer while driving. Eating your lunch and as a result trying to clean up the spill that occurred from the food or drink. Looking for notes for the meeting you are headed to. I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.

I have spoken to several individuals that were involved in minor crashes, and asked them, "What happened?" The usual response is, "I don't know. I only took my eyes off the road for a second." Unfortunately this kind of response is not always true. While talking on a cell phone or texting the operators concept of time is skewed. What seems like a second to the driver is actually three to five seconds.

When you stop to consider how quickly a car can travel into the path of another car it is frightening. If a car is traveling a 30 mph it is moving at 44 ft. per second, at 40 mph = 58.6 ft. per second. I could go on, but I hope you get the idea. An average width for traffic lanes is twelve feet, if a driver veers into on coming traffic he / she could cross one or two lanes in 1 to 2 seconds, not much time at all, is it? So just think about how far you will travel in 3 to 5 seconds, and think again if you are traveling at 50 to 60 mph.

As much as we do support laws to deter people from doing these things while driving, it does raise a serious question of double standards. In the past few years we have become far more observant of those around us operating vehicles. How do you effectively enforce and issue summonses to people using cell phones when we witness police officers on their cell phones constantly. This is an argument for another day, but something that must be considered by legislators when they introduce the bills that will become law. If people witness the keepers of law and order breaking the law then they wonder why they should obey the law.

If you live in New York we are asking you to contact your state representatives in the Assembly and Senate and voice your anger and your support for these bills. You can find your representatives on the legislative websites by using the following links;

The Assembly:

The Senate: