State Legislators are considering a new bill to amend a New York law that requires drivers to keep one hand on the wheel while driving. Assembly Bill A31 is based on the idea that New York’s laws must keep up with the rapid pace of developing technologies. The idea of a self-driving car, which operates through sensors, cameras, and GPS, is becoming more and more realistic. Tesla has already begun to implement the technology and car manufactures such as Audi claim to be merely months away from releasing similar cars.
Six states and the District of Columbia have already created laws allowing automated driving systems to be tested on public roads. However, driverless vehicles would automatically be banned in New York, the only state that still has a law requiring drivers to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel.
Although the bill was passed in the Senate, it has yet to be approved by the State Assembly. Proponents of the bill believe that since 94% of accidents are based on human error, driverless cars would make roads safer. Others argue that because the technology behind self-driving cars has yet to be proven, the bill is premature. There’s no telling yet how the bill will be impacted by the recent death of Joshua Brown of Canton, Ohio, who was killed in a fatal accident involving his self-driving Tesla Model S.
The new proposal, Assembly Bill A31, will amend VTL 1226, the New York law that makes it a moving violation worth two points to remove both hands from the steering wheel while driving. The bill aims to “encourage and support the safe development, testing, and operation of motor vehicles with autonomous technology upon the public highways of the state.” It will add new sections to New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law to cover the definition, use, and regulation of self-driving cars. The full text of the law can be viewed here.
If you or a loved one has been ticketed for a moving violation, or for any other driving offense, contact a lawyer to help you avoid fines, surcharges, license points, driving record marks, and increased insurance rates. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law is an experienced traffic ticket and criminal defense attorney who will appear on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected. Email the Rosenblum Law or call 888-203-2619 today for a free consultation about your case.