NY Safety LawsThere are many different New York safety laws that will provide you with the guidelines necessary to remain safe and keep others safe as you share the New York roadways. Understanding the safety laws you accept when signing for your driver's license is pertinent, which is why your written exam will include these safety laws to ensure that you are aware of what they are and what they mean before taking your chances on the road.
New York Helmet Regulations
- All motorcycle riders and drivers in the state of New York must first put on their safety helmet, which is mandatory for all on the vehicle, no matter what age or type of driver's license you hold. This mandatory law is also applied to bicycle riders that are under 14, in order to improve safety for these riders whether on their bikes on private or public roadways.
- There are different rules applied for headlights pertaining to the vehicle you operate. For standard, private-use vehicles, you must turn your headlights on any time your visibility decreases to 1,000 ft. or fewer, at least a half-hour after the sun sets until at least a half-hour before the sun rises, and when you must use your windshield wipers due to rain or snow and diminished visibility.
- For operating motorcycles in NY, your headlights must be on during operation of the bike at all times during the day. This is to ensure the added visibility of your vehicle for other drivers on the New York roads.
- Even though bicycles don't always come with a headlight affixed, if you plan on riding your bike in New York during the evening hours, a headlight is a wise decision. It is required for all bicycles in New York to have a headlight affixed with the capability of viewing for up to 500 ft, with a red taillight also required in the rear section of the bike with visibility up to 300 ft in operation from half an hour before sunset to at least half an hour before sunrise.
- Using cell phones in any way is illegal in New York unless you have a hands-free set that allows you to utilize the phone without taking from your ability to navigate the vehicle. Texting is absolutely banned in New York if you are behind the wheel, as this is thought to be one of the most irresponsible and dangerous acts.
- In most cases, you won't find officers out there looking for people using their phone while driving or texting while driving in New York, but if you are seen, you can be pulled over. There are great penalties associated, especially if you have children in the vehicle.
There are various child car seat laws throughout the U.S. New York child car seat laws can be a bit different than the laws found in other states, with different requirements and regulations.
- Children under 4 years of age must be securely fastened within a child safety seat that is federally approved secured properly with the vehicle safety seat or the car seat provided anchorage system.
- Any child under the age of 8 must also be secure within an appropriate child restraint system, including safety belts, harness belted vests, and a federally approved booster seat which is secured with a vehicle safety belt.
- Children under 4 who weight over 40 lbs are allowed to be secured within only a booster seat that is secured to the vehicle's seat with the lap and shoulder belt fastened.
- If each child safety seat in the vehicle is already occupied, any child who would otherwise require such restraint can be secure with a lap belt of the vehicle.
- Any rider under 16 is required to utilize a safety belt.
Reporting New York Driving Violations
- If you encounter a driver that you believe to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or that is driving dangerously, you may call 911 to make a report with the New York police. Be sure that you note the make, model, plate number, location, and direction of travel for the vehicle you are calling about.
- If you find a vehicle with a child that is left unattended, please call 911. You should stay by the vehicle until law enforcement arrives.
- The same consideration should be given to pets as well. Leaving pets unattended can be just as dangerous as leaving children unattended as they also have no way to exit the vehicle if in the way of danger. If you find a vehicle with a pet left inside unattended, you should call 911 or the local animal control unit to obtain assistance. Also, stay by the vehicle.