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Gov. Hochul Signs Law Adding Cyclist & Pedestrian Safety Awareness to Driver’s License Requirements

StreetsBlog NYC | By Dave Colon | July 15, 2022


The bill was shepherded through the Assembly by Emily Gallagher (D-Brooklyn) and carried through the state Senate by Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn), who introduced the measure in 2019. Gounardes noted that even as the streets had changed drastically, with an explosion of bicycling and micro-mobility use, driver education hadn’t changed with the times.


“The instructions and the driving test haven’t been updated to reflect the reality that our roadways are shared spaces,” Gounardes said, recounting the 2019 crash that killed 3-year-old Emur Shavkator of Brooklyn, who was mowed down by a delivery truck driver who passed a stop sign without checking for pedestrians.


Hochul’s signature means that the syllabus for the state’s five-hour driver-education course and official driver’s manual will be updated beyond its current brief mentions about how drivers must conduct their vehicles in the presence of cyclists and pedestrians. Now, the DMV syllabus merely advises driving instructors to point out the relevant passages in the state’s driver’s manual if students happen to ask how they’re supposed to navigate in the presence of cyclists or pedestrians.