Three new traffic laws that will go into effect in 2012 include: (1) an expansion of the Move Over Law to include tow trucks and other hazard vehicles; (2) a rise from 2 to 3 points on a driver license for using a handheld phone or other portable electronic device while driving; and (3) a ban from being a school bus driver for anyone convicted of a wide range of crimes.
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In the case of Lifson v. City of Syracuse and Derek Klink New York’s Court of Appeals held that a driver who, while making a left turn, struck and killed a pedestrian whom he did not see until only a fraction of a second before hitting her because of sun glare, was not entitled to have the jury instructed on the emergency doctrine. The court''s majority and dissenting opinions battled over whether the fact known to all that the sun sets in the west can excuse a driver who claims sun glare blocked his view. If I were representing the pedestrian, I would argue that nothing prevented the driver from seeing my client before he began to make his turn. The court's decision is silent as to that aspect of the accident, possibly for reasons that the record on appeal would make clear..
Criminal Charges Brought Against Driver of Tour Bus That Crashed in Bronx Returning From Mohegan Sun Casino On Same Day as State Inspector Generals Report Released
The driver of the tour bus that crashed into a highway sign post on I-95 in the Bronx, killing 15 people and injuring seven others on March 12, 2011, has been charged with 15 counts each of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, plus reckless driving, assault and third-degree unlicensed driving. Ophadell Williams, Jr. plead not guilty, and his bail was set at $250,000. Alsolast Thursday, New York State Inspector General Ellen Biben today released an investigative report that found the bus driver was able to exploit weaknesses in the state regulatory system and obtain a commercial bus driver license and employment with tour operators despite
Although motorcoach transportation is one of the most cost-effective, accessible and safe forms of public transportation, there has been a number of recent tragic crashes around the United States that involved motorcoaches and buses. In an effort to strengthen motorcoach safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the Department of Transportation will be holding National Motorcoach Safety Summit this September in Washington, DC. The hope is to develop a plan to increase motorcoach safety awareness, enforcement, and education; establish innovative and collaborative policies and countermeasures; to exchange information and ideas on the best possible approaches to reduce the number of motorcoach c
New Yorks Law Against Text Messaging While Driving Signed by Governor Cuomo; Penalty for Using Cell Phone While Driving Rises from Two to Three Points
Effective immediately, it is a primary traffic offense for drivers to use handheld electronic devices for activities such as texting while a vehicle is in motion, thereby giving law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for engaging in this activity. Before this law, it was illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle was in motion, but it was a secondary traffic offense -- meaning a driver had to be stopped for another violation in order to receive a ticket. The monetary penalty for a violation of this law continues to be a fine of up to $150. Changes in state regulations will increase the penalty for using a cellular phone without a hands-free device or a handheld device while driving from two to three poin
In Edwards v. Erie Coach Lines Company, 131, NYLJ 1202499068316 (Decided June 30, 2011), New York States highest court was called upon to answer a choice-of-law question regarding a motor vehicleaccident wherein a charter bus carrying members of an Ontario women's hockey team plowed into the rear-end of a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of the highway near Geneseo, New York on January 19, 2005. Four bus passengers and the trailer's driver died; several bus passengers were seriously hurt. The charter bus's driver, his employer, and the company that leased the bus are Ontario domiciliaries, as are (or were) all the injured and deceased passengers. The tractor-trailer driver was a Pennsylvania domiciliary, as are his employer and the
Last Friday, June 3, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a new law that prohibits texting behind the wheel. Under the new law, which takes effect in September 2011, violators will face a minimum fine of $100. The new law is designed to strengthen a 2009 Maine law that more generally prohibited distracted driving but was felt not insufficient to deal with the huge safety risk of texting while driving. In Nevada, a bill that bans any non-hands-free use of a cell phone while driving passed through the State Senate and Assembly on June 4th and is now awaiting the governors approval. Under the new law, the use of a cell phone while driving will be considered a primary offense, with offenses carrying progressively increasing fines. Anyone convicted of a third offense will have their dr
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week announced the 2011 Click It or Ticket mobilization with a reminder to motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night. In a surprising statistic, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows that fewer people buckle their seat belts at night, making evening hours especially dangerous. In 2009, 62 percent of nighttime vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes were unbelted. In contrast, 44 percent of daytime occupants who were killed were unrestrained. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland cautioned that holiday periods, like the Memorial Day weekend, are unusually dangerous for unbelted motorists. Of the 306 people who died on U.S. roads during the 2009 Memorial Day period, 55 percent were unb
Throughout New York City and other places drivers are becoming accustomed to seeing radar-equipped speed boards that tell them how fast they're going, and flash when their speed exceeds the speed limit. This past week Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that some of the speed boards will now also show the words SLOW DOWN and the image of a healthy pedestrian turns into a skeleton on electronic signs when drivers exceed the city speed limit. As long as a driver obeys the citys 30 mph speed limit, no skeleton will appear. The signs have been placed along stretches of Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx and Richmond Avenue in S
No, I didnt get a ticket for failing to obey the new Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act that requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder of a road or highway with its emergency lights activated. More specifically, on parkways, interstates, and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, drivers are required to move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely. So there we w