Gov. Hochul Signs Legislation to Expand Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation S.1078B/A.5084A, which requires new drivers to learn about pedestrian and cyclist safety awareness as part of the pre-licensing exam. of the license and as a prerequisite for obtaining a license to operate a motor vehicle.

“My top priority as governor is keeping New Yorkers safe, and it makes good sense to make pedestrian and bicycle safety education mandatory for drivers,” Governor Hochul said. “This law will help prevent accidents and save lives, and I thank my partners in the Assembly and the Senate for passing this legislation to make our streets safer.”

“As a parent of twins, this new law requiring new drivers to learn about pedestrian and cyclist safety before getting a driver’s license definitely helps put my mind at ease,” said Lieutenant Governor Delgado. “This new law will help improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists and reduce injuries and fatalities.”

Legislation S.1078B/A.5084A adds a curriculum to the pre-licensing course that includes an overview of traffic laws governing motor vehicle operators’ duty to exercise due diligence towards pedestrians and cyclists. This legislation also requires pedestrian and cyclist safety to be added to the Department of Motor Vehicles instruction manual.

The signing of this legislation is Governor Hochul’s latest action to improve road safety. In June, Governor Hochul signed legislation to reauthorize and expand the use of New York City school zone speed cameras to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Last October, Governor Hochul signed a law establishing a fund for the education of school bus drivers, which served to protect the safety of schoolchildren. Last summer, Governor Hochul announced the completion of $11.3 million in pedestrian safety projects in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

State Senator Andrew Gonardes said: “Ensuring drivers know how to share the road safely with pedestrians and cyclists is key to keeping our streets as safe as possible. I look forward to continuing our efforts to end road rage once and for all.”

Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher said: “Education is a vital part of building safer streets, but for too long drivers in New York City have been able to hit the road without learning the basic skills to protect pedestrians and cyclists from fatal crashes. With Governor Hochul signing today, our legislation to expand the pre-licensing school curriculum now becomes law.This important work must continue until all road users are protected.

New York Bicycling Coalition Executive Director Keith Pickett said: “The New York Bicycling Coalition commends Governor Hochul for signing this common sense bill to educate new motorists and, in turn, make our roads and streets safer for the most vulnerable people who use them. Our members in every corner of the state thank the governor and the legislature for this important step forward.”

Bike New York President and CEO Ken Podziba said: “We are thrilled that Governor Hochul is demanding that bicycle and pedestrian safety be added to the DMV program. Bike New York has been fighting for many years to make this simple solution happen because pedestrians and cyclists are the users of the the most vulnerable and education helps save lives.We are all deeply concerned about the unacknowledged increase in the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed by motor vehicles and we cannot thank the Governor enough for his leadership in this crucial battle against road violence.

GObike Buffalo Executive Director, Executive Director Justin Booth said: “The passage of this bill through both Houses and the signing of the law marks the beginning of a major shift toward increased safety in our communities. Our state’s newest and least experienced drivers will now receive clear instructions on sharing the road legally and safely with cyclists and properly yielding to them and pedestrians, and they must demonstrate that they understand this instruction in order to be licensed.Street safety is the goal of our organization and our coalition, and this legislation will bring us closer to that goal.

Transportation Alternative Executive Director Danny Harris said: “It is essential that all new drivers know how to drive safely alongside pedestrians and cyclists. We thank Governor Hochul, Senator Gounardes and Assemblyman Gallagher for making this pre- licensing a requirement for all new drivers. This measure, along with the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act measures passed by the Legislature this year, will help make New York’s streets safer.”

Families for Safe Streets, part of the NYS Safe Streets Coalition, said co-founder Amy Cohen: “Our streets aren’t just for cars. By making pedestrian and cyclist safety instructions a driver’s license requirement, New York State can ensure that all new drivers know how to share the road with At a time when traffic violence is on the rise across the state, the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act is needed more than ever.This new driver’s license requirement, along with other CVRSA measures passed by the Legislature, will prevent fatal accidents.

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