A bill that would make inattentive driving a traffic
infraction is once again up for consideration in the New York Assembly.
Sponsored by Assemblyman David Gantt, D-Rochester, the bill
was introduced during the 2005 legislative session but failed to move forward.
The measure was reintroduced earlier this year.
Similar efforts were brought up in the previous two
sessions, only to stall in committees.
This year’s version defines inattentive driving as a
non-driving activity that “unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use
of the public highway.”
Any person who interferes with the flow of traffic as a
result of inattentive driving would face a fine between $50 and $250. Any
person found guilty of three inattentive driving violations during an 18-month
period would be guilty of reckless driving.
The measure lists five examples of inattentive activities
- Faxing; and
Gantt’s bill – A3518 – is in the Assembly Codes Committee.
It isn’t the only highway safety-related effort this year in
the New York Legislature.
A bill in the Senate would forbid drivers from watching
videos while behind the wheel.
State law already prohibits drivers from watching any video
monitoring device that is located in front of the back of the driver’s seat – regardless of whether the device interferes with safe driving.
Sponsored by Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Syosset, the bill would
amend the law to prohibit satellite video entertainment broadcasts, VCR or DVD
transmissions or replays, or any other similar video entertainment
presentations located within the driver’s view.
The bill would provide an exception if the equipment is
disabled while the vehicle is in motion. It would also exempt global
positioning and navigational display systems.
Marcellino’s bill – S1310 – is awaiting consideration on the
floor of the Senate. If approved, it would move to the Assembly.