New York to Require New Drivers to Take a Bike and Pedestrian Safety Course

NY Legislature
Posted: July 21, 2022

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law new legislation aimed at expanding bicyclist and pedestrian safety in New York State.  

The new law requires new motorists in New York to learn more about bicyclist and pedestrian safety. There are two main components to the law.  

First, as a prerequisite to obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle, new drivers in New York will be required to take a course that includes instruction about the state’s traffic laws involving bicyclist and pedestrian safety. These traffic laws require motorists, among other things, to exercise care when sharing roadways with bicyclists and pedestrians. This topic will be added to the pre-licensing exam that all prospective motorists in New York must pass before obtaining a license. Second, the law requires that the topic of bicyclist and pedestrian safety be added to the Department of Motor Vehicles instruction handbook 

Officials hope that the new law will provide new drivers in New York with a greater sense of awareness when sharing roadways with bicyclists and pedestrians. Governor Hochul remarked that it is “common sense” to include bicyclist and pedestrian safety awareness in the curriculum for New York State drivers . Governor Hochul believes that the law has the potential to “prevent crashes and save lives,” making streets safer.  

According to a summary of the new law’s provisions, Section 502 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law will be amended to reflect the changes. The precise nature of the new pre-licensing curriculum will be developed by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles upon consultation with others, including the Commissioner of Transportation, the Superintendent of the State Police, the Commissioners of the Transportation and Police of the City of New York, and other local law enforcement and highway safety officials. This new pre-licensing curriculum will include an overview of traffic laws relating to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  

William Mattar, P.C. will continue to monitor and share new and important legislation aimed at improving the safety of our roadways.  

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