November 15, 2023
Most New York drivers are familiar with the Driver Point System which aims to identify and act against high-risk drivers. Different driving violations warrant varying points and if a driver accrues 11 points in an 18-month period, the driver’s license may be suspended. For example, improper cell phone use warrants 5 points while failure to yield the right of way warrants 3 points. The more serious the offense, the greater the number of points and the greater the risk that a license could be suspended.
Dangerous driving endangers others. According to the New York Department of Health, during a three-year period between 2012 and 2014 the annual average number of nearly 1,100 people died, over 12,000 people were hospitalized, and nearly 134,000 people visited the emergency department as a result of motor vehicle traffic crashes. Some of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, “there are proven strategies that can help prevent . . . injuries and deaths” on New York roadways. One of those strategies is driving within the speed limit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, relying on new data, notes that nearly one-third of traffic fatalities are speed related.
A new Bill recently introduced in the New York Senate, S7621, would require the installation of “intelligent speed assistance devices for repeated violation of maximum speed limits.” The bill builds on New York’s Ignition Interlock system—which requires those convicted of alcohol related driving offenses to install an ignition interlock device in their car for at least 12 months, unless otherwise permitted—by requiring repeated speeding offenders to install a “speed limiter” that caps the speed of the vehicle at 5 miles per hour higher than the speed limit.
The bill would amend Section 1180 (h) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to require drivers who accumulate 11 or more points during the 18 month period to pay for the installation of a “speed limiter” device in any vehicle owned or operated by them. That term “speed limiter” would be defined to mean:
A DEVICE . . . WHICH IS INSTALLED IN A MOTOR VEHICLE AND UTILIZES TECHNOLOGY TO CAP THE SPEED OF A MOTOR VEHICLE AT FIVE MILES PER HOUR MORE THAN THE SPEED LIMIT IN A SPECIFIC ZONE. THE TECHNOLOGY SHALL ALLOW FOR SLIGHT ACCELERATION PAST THE SPEED LIMIT, IF NECESSARY, BASED ON TRAFFIC CONDITIONS.
According to the Bill’s sponsor, this change of the law is justified because “[s]peeding has severe consequences. For every 10 miles per hour of increased speed, the risk of dying in a crash doubles.” Safety advocates will surely keep an eye on this piece of legislation, as it has the capacity to make New York roads a bit safer.
If you were injured by a speeding driver in New York State and are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney, the attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. would be honored to review the circumstances of your case to see if they can help. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to thoroughly investigate your case, establish liability, and help ensure you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering.