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National Motorcoach Safety Summit to be Held September 23rd

Posted On Aug 13, 2011 @ 01:14 AM by SEO Admin

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

Posted On Jul 14, 2011 @ 01:51 AM by Ira Slavit

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

Court of Appeals Applies Both New York Law and Ontario Law to Fatal Bus Crash

Posted On Jul 4, 2011 @ 05:53 PM by SEO Admin

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

33 States Now Prohibit Texting While Driving

Posted On Jun 8, 2011 @ 10:05 AM by SEO Admin

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

This Year's Click It Or Ticket Campaign Runs Through June 5

Posted On Jun 1, 2011 @ 02:21 PM by SEO Admin

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

NYC Makes No Bones About It: Obey The 30 MPH Speed Limit or You'll See a Skeleton

Posted On May 15, 2011 @ 02:47 AM by Ira Slavit

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

The New Move Over Law Gets Personal

Posted On May 1, 2011 @ 01:32 AM by Ira Slavit

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

New York's Top Court Holds Uninsured Motorists Coverage Applies to Intentional "Accident"

Posted On Apr 9, 2011 @ 02:04 AM by SEO Admin

We've stressed to our clients and in our writings the importance of protecting them and their families by obtaining as much Supplementary Uninsured Motorists ("SUM") Coverage as possible. SUM coverage provides the insured and their family with coverage when they are injured or killed in a motor vehicleaccident the fault of someone else who has no insurance or less liability insurance than the insured.In this way, you are not at the mercy of someone who not only causes harm, but also has no or little insurance to compensate their victim.Butis there coverageif the injured is the victim of an intentional crime? Yes, says New York's Court of Appeals inState Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Langan, 2011 WL 1118579 (March 29, 2011

Bus Safety Subject of Legislative Attention Following Last Weeks Charter Bus Crashes

Posted On Mar 19, 2011 @ 11:14 AM by Ira Slavit

In 2009, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) released the Motor Coach Safety Action Plan setting forth concrete steps for improving motorcoach safety. The action plan addresses major safety issues such as driver fatigue and inattention, vehicle rollover, occupant ejections and oversight of unsafe carriers. With the two recent fatal charter bus accidents, efforts are being speed up the implementation of the safety improvements. Available technology includes collision warning systems that alert drivers to obstacles in their paths and tell them when they are swerving from their lanes, strengthening bus roofs so that they aren't sheared off, as happened to the New York bus when it hit a signpost, and using anti-ejection glazing windows to prevent passengers from being

Court of Appeals Broadens Ability of Persons To Recover for Injuries Caused by Negligently Operated Emergency Vehicles

Posted On Mar 7, 2011 @ 10:34 AM by SEO Admin

A bit of a chill swept through the plaintiffs bar in 1994 when the Court of Appeals, New Yorks highest court, held that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents couldnot recover damages for injuries causedbymunicipal motor vehicles responding to an emergency responsible for the damages unless it could be proven that the driver a showing of reckless disregard for the safety of others, a much higher standard than the usual negligence. The court's interpretation in Saarinen v. Kerr, 84 N.Y.2d 494 ofsection 1104 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law ("VTL") caused attorneys to give great pause to taking on such cases. The courts dismissed many lawsuits that were brought where the conduct complained of seemed egregious. But some relief came last month in

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