Two drowsy driving bills introduced into the New York General Assembly would define driver fatigue and establish punishments for drowsy driving. Under the bills, a person who falls asleep while driving or is proven to be without sleep for 24 or more consecutive hours would be considered by state law to be fatigued.
Driving while fatigued would be a class A misdemeanor, with a $500 fine for the first violation and $1,000 fines for each additional offense. The bills would also amend the sections of the state vehicle and traffic law addressing vehicular assault and homicide. Fatigue would be included with other impairments, such as alcohol, in accidents causing injury or death.
The AASM and AAST will work with the New York State Society of Sleep Medicine to amend the bills to incorporate education and training of law enforcement officials to detect drowsy and fatigued driving in place of fines or prison sentences.