New York Rating: Caution

traffic-yellowNew York needs improvement because of gaps in Advocates’ recommended optimal laws, as reported in the 2019 Roadmap Report.

Highway Safety Laws Needed

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Rear)
  • Booster Seat Law
  • GDL- Age 18 for Unrestricted License (Without DE Exemption)
  • GDL Cell Phone Restriction

Current Optimal Highway Safety Laws

  • Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law (Front)
  • All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law
  • Rear Facing Through Age 2 Law
  • GDL – Minimum Age 16 for Learner’s Permit
  • GDL – 6-Month Holding Period Provision
  • GDL –  Supervised Driving Requirement
  • GDL – Nighttime Driving Restriction
  • GDL – Passenger Restriction
IID for All Offenders
  • Child Endangerment Law
  • Open Container Law
  • All-Driver Text Messaging Restriction

*States are credited with having laws only if their laws meet Advocates’ optimal criteria

info2 Learn more and contact your New York state representative or state senator.

Hot News: Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

In 2017, 113 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in New York.

The current GDL law in New York includes the following components:

  • A three-stage licensing system beginning at age 16 for learner’s permit, age 16 years and 6 months for the intermediate stage, and age 18 for full licensure (age 17 for teens who complete driver education)
  • A mandatory holding period during the learner’s permit stage of up to 6 months
  • A minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving during the learner’s permit stage, at least 15 of which must be done at night
  • A prohibition on unsupervised nighttime driving between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the intermediate stage
  • A passenger restriction prohibiting more than one passenger younger than age 21 unless a parent or guardian is in the vehicle
  • A prohibition on non-emergency use of hand-held cell phones for drivers of all ages
  • A prohibition on texting while driving for all drivers (primary enforcement)

These changes are needed to improve New York’s GDL law and meet optimal GDL provisions:

  • Strengthen the minimum age for full licensure by removing the exception for teens who complete driver education
  • Strengthen the prohibition on non-emergency use of cell phones by adding a prohibition on use of hands-free cell phones during the learner’s permit and intermediate stages

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