A new Bill, S9528, pending in the New York Senate Rules Committee, would amend the Vehicle and Traffic Law to require the use of “advanced safety technology” in new cars.
The Bill, if passed and signed into law, would “mandate certain vehicle safety technology and limit blind spots in vehicles” by amending Section 375 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law. The amendment would require any passenger vehicle registered in New York and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 2024 to be equipped with “advanced safety technology.” Such technology would include active intelligent speed assistance, advanced emergency braking, emergency lane keeping systems, blind spot information systems, drowsiness and distraction recognition technology, rear-view camera sensor systems, and event data recorders.
The proposed amendment would also give the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles authority to issue regulations for vehicles weighing over 3,000 pounds to limit blind spots and establish standards regarding “visibility of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users from the driver’s position, by reducing to the greatest possible extent the blind spots in front and to the side of the driver.”
According to the Bill’s sponsor, these changes are necessary to address “skyrocket[ing] traffic violence in New York City” which have reached levels not seen in years. This upward trend of traffic-related deaths saw 270 traffic-related deaths on New York City streets in 2021 and 243 such deaths the year before.
The Bill’s sponsor characterized this upward trend as a “crisis” which warranted a “multi-faceted approach to street safety.” Citing studies which indicate that intelligent speed assistance alone has the capacity to reduce traffic fatalities by 20%, the Sponsor posits that advanced safety technology could help reduce the number of crashes that occur. This would, in turn, reduce the number of traffic fatalities.
As we have previously covered in these pages, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has classified five different levels of driving automation, ranging from Level 1 (no automation) to Level 5 (full automation). Automakers have already introduced driver assistance technology such as forward collision, lane departure, rear cross traffic, and blind spot warnings to help drivers more safely navigate the road. The proposed changes would mandate the use of these kinds of “advanced safety technology” in certain New York vehicles.
Safety advocates will surely keep an eye on this Bill as it works its way through the legislative process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes across the nation. Many of these crashes were caused by human error. Widespread use of advanced safety technology has the capacity to reduce human error, resulting in less crashes and injuries. The NHTSA claims that we are currently in an era of “partially automated safety features.”
If you were injured in a New York motor vehicle crash and are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer, please do not hesitate to give the attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. a call. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help injured motorists receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering after a car wreck.