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Vehicle and Traffic Law

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Article 37 - NY Vehicle and Traffic Law

REGULATION OF TRAFFIC BY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER STATE AUTHORITIES

Section Description
1620Speed limits on state highways, and on Indian reservations.
1621Other traffic regulations on state highways and on indian reservations.
1622Speed limits on county roads and town highways.
1623Regulation of traffic on the grounds of state departments, institutions of the state university, state hospitals and other state institutions.
1624Limitation on scope of local speed limits; reports of local speeding convictions to department of transportation.
1625Traffic regulations on restricted highways.
1626Regulation of rest and parking areas and scenic overlooks.
1627Designation of qualifying highways and access highways.
1628Traffic regulations on bridge approaches to the barge canal system.
1629Closed or restricted bridges; penalties for noncompliance.
   S 1620. Speed  limits  on  state highways, and on Indian reservations.
  (a) The department of transportation  with  respect  to  state  highways
  maintained  by the state outside of cities having a population in excess
  of one million, and highways on Indian reservations, may by order,  rule
  or  regulation  establish  higher or lower maximum speed limits at which
  vehicles may proceed on or along such highways than the fifty-five miles
  per hour statutory maximum speed limit.  No  such  maximum  speed  limit
  shall  be  established  at  less than twenty-five miles per hour, except
  that school speed limits may be established at  not  less  than  fifteen
  miles  per hour, for a distance not to exceed one thousand three hundred
  twenty feet, on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of
  a school abutting on the highway. Absence of signs installed pursuant to
  this section shall  be  presumptive  evidence  that  the  department  of
  transportation has not established a higher maximum speed limit than the
  fifty-five miles per hour statutory limit.
    (b)  The  department  of transportation, whenever it determines on the
  basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that  slow  speeds  on
  any  part  of  a controlled-access state highway maintained by the state
  outside  of  cities  having  a  population  in  excess  of  one  million
  consistently  impede  the  normal  and  reasonable  flow of traffic, may
  establish minimum speed limits below which vehicles may not  proceed  on
  or along such highway,
    (c)  The  department of transportation may determine the maximum speed
  which may  be  maintained  without  structural  damage  to  bridges  and
  elevated  structures  that are a part of any state highway maintained by
  the state, and, if such maximum speed is lower than  the  maximum  speed
  limit  otherwise  applicable, may by order, rule or regulation establish
  such lower maximum speed limit at which vehicles may proceed on any such
  bridge or structure.

   S 1621. Other  traffic  regulations  on  state  highways and on indian
  reservations. (a) The department of transportation with respect to state
  highways maintained by the state, the intersection of any highway with a
  state highway maintained by the state, and any highway  intersecting  or
  meeting  a  state  highway  maintained  by  the state for a distance not
  exceeding one hundred feet from such state  highway  maintained  by  the
  state, may by order, rule or regulation:
    1.  Designate  through highways and order stop signs, flashing signals
  or yield signs erected at specified entrances thereto or  designate  any
  intersection  as  a  stop intersection or a yield intersection and order
  like signs or signals at one or more entrances to such intersection.
    2. Prohibit, restrict or regulate the operation  of  vehicles  on  any
  controlled-access highway or the use of any controlled-access highway by
  any  limited  use  vehicle,  pedestrian,  horseback  rider or vehicle or
  device moved by human or animal power.
    3. Prohibit or regulate the turning of vehicles or specified types  of
  vehicles at intersections or other designated locations.
    4. Authorize angle parking on any roadway.
    5. Regulate the crossing of any roadway by pedestrians.
    6.  Upon  a  roadway  which  is divided into three lanes, allocate the
  center lane exclusively for traffic moving in a specified direction.
    7. Order signs erected directing slow-moving traffic, trucks, buses or
  specified types of vehicles to use a designated  lane,  or  with  signs,
  signals  or  markings designate those lanes to be used by traffic moving
  in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway.
    8. Designate any highway or any separate roadway thereof  for  one-way
  traffic.
    9.  Exclude  trucks,  commercial  vehicles,  tractors, tractor-trailer
  combinations,        tractor-semitrailer        combinations,         or
  tractor-trailer-semitrailer  combinations from highways specified by the
  commissioner. Such exclusion shall  not  be  construed  to  prevent  the
  delivery  or  pickup of merchandise or other property along the highways
  from which such vehicles and combinations are otherwise excluded.
    10. Prohibit, restrict or limit the stopping, standing or  parking  of
  vehicles.
    11.  Determine  those  highways or portions of highways which shall be
  marked to indicate where overtaking and passing or driving to  the  left
  of  or  crossing  such  markings would be especially hazardous and order
  appropriate signs or markings on the roadway to indicate  the  beginning
  and end of such zone.
    12. Require the use of lower gears on hills.
    13. Regulate traffic by means of traffic-control signals.
    14. Designate safety zones.
    16. Designate a portion of a slope as a path for the use of bicycles.
    17.  Order signs or markings to identify the portion of the highway to
  be used for bicycle travel.
    18. Prohibit, restrict  or  regulate  the  operation  of  limited  use
  vehicles on any street or highway.
    19.  Make  special  provisions  with relation to stopping, standing or
  parking of vehicles registered pursuant to section four  hundred  four-a
  of  this  chapter  or  those possessing a special vehicle identification
  parking permit issued  in  accordance  with  section  one  thousand  two
  hundred three-a of this chapter.
    20. Designate preferential use lanes for specified types or classes of
  vehicles.
    21.  Declare  a  snow  emergency  and designate any highway or portion
  thereof as a snow emergency route.
    22. Exclude trucks,  commercial  vehicles,  tractors,  tractor-trailer
  combinations,         tractor-semitrailer        combinations,        or
  tractor-trailer-semitrailer combinations in  excess  of  any  designated
  weight,  designated  length,  designated height, or eight feet in width,
  from  highways  or  set limits on hours of operation of such vehicles on
  particular state highways or segments of such highways.  Such  exclusion
  shall  not be construed to prevent the delivery or pickup of merchandise
  or other property  along  the  highways  from  which  such  vehicles  or
  combinations are otherwise excluded.
    23.   Authorize   the   use  of  shoulders  or  slopes  of  any  state
  controlled-access highway by motor vehicles.
    (b) The department of transportation shall cause to be determined, for
  all bridges and elevated structures under its jurisdiction, the capacity
  in tons of two thousand pounds  which  the  bridge  or  structures  will
  safely carry. At bridges or structures of insufficient strength to carry
  safely  the legal loads permissible by section three hundred eighty-five
  of this chapter, the department of transportation shall cause  signs  to
  be erected to inform persons of the safe capacity.
    (c)  Such department of transportation shall cause signs to be erected
  to inform persons of the legal overhead clearance for  all  bridges  and
  elevated  structures  on  highways  under  its  jurisdiction.  The legal
  clearance shall be one  foot  less  than  the  measured  clearance.  The
  measured  clearance  shall  be  the  minimum  height  to  the  bridge or
  structure measured vertically from the traveled portion of the  roadway.
  On  bridges  or  structures  having  fourteen  feet  or more of measured
  clearance, no such signs shall be required.
    (d) The department of transportation may by order, rule or  regulation
  temporarily  exclude  from  any  portion  of  any  state highway and any
  highway and bridge constructed or to be constructed by the state on  any
  indian  reservation any vehicle with a gross weight of over four or more
  tons or any vehicle with a gross weight  in  excess  of  any  designated
  weight  on  any  wheel,  axle, any number of axles, or per inch width of
  tire when in its opinion such highway would be materially injured by the
  operation of any such vehicle thereon. Such exclusion shall take  effect
  upon the erection of signs on the section of highway from which vehicles
  are  excluded,  and  a  notice  that such vehicles are excluded shall be
  published in a newspaper in the county where the  highway  is  situated.
  The  exclusion  shall remain in effect until the removal of the signs is
  directed by the department of transportation.

   S 1622. Speed limits on county roads and town highways. The department
  of  transportation  upon  the  request  of  the county superintendent of
  highways of a county and the town board of the town  or  towns  affected
  with  respect  to  county  roads and town highways in such town or towns
  outside of cities or villages, may by order, rule or regulation:
    1. Establish maximum speed limits at which vehicles may proceed on  or
  along  such  highways higher or lower than the fifty-five miles per hour
  statutory maximum speed limit. No such limit  shall  be  established  at
  less  than  twenty-five  miles per hour, except that school speed limits
  may be established at not less  than  fifteen  miles  per  hour,  for  a
  distance  not  to  exceed  one  thousand three hundred twenty feet, on a
  highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting
  on the highway.
    2. Establish maximum speed limits at which vehicles may proceed on  or
  along all such highways lying within an area or areas as designated by a
  description  of  the  boundaries  of such area or areas submitted by the
  county superintendent of highways of a county and the town board of  the
  town  or  towns  affected lower than fifty-five miles per hour statutory
  maximum speed limit. No such limit shall be  established  at  less  than
  thirty miles per hour.

   S 1623. Regulation  of  traffic  on  the grounds of state departments,
  institutions of the state university, state hospitals  and  other  state
  institutions.  (a)  Upon  the  application  of  the  head  of  any state
  department, upon the application of the board of trustees of  the  state
  university of New York and upon the application of the board of visitors
  or other similar board or body of a state hospital or state institution,
  the  department  of  transportation  may  by  order,  rule or regulation
  prohibit, restrict or regulate traffic  on  or  pedestrian  use  of  any
  highway  on  the  grounds of the department, institution or institutions
  over which the department head, board or body making  such  applications
  has jurisdiction. (b) This section shall not apply to any of the grounds
  referred to in section fifty-seven hundred eight of the education law.

   S 1624. Limitation  on  scope  of local speed limits; reports of local
  speeding convictions to department of transportation. (a) On  any  state
  highway  maintained  by  the  state within any city, village or suburban
  town  governed  pursuant  to  article  three-A  of  the  town  law,  the
  department  of  transportation  may  designate any such state highway or
  section of such highway on which any such city, village or suburban town
  shall not by local law, ordinance, order, rule or  regulation  establish
  any  maximum speed limits at which vehicles may proceed on or along such
  state highway.  Such designation shall be made by an order in writing of
  the department of transportation and served by  mail  on  the  mayor  or
  supervisor  or  a member of the governing board of such city, village or
  suburban town ten days  before  the  same  shall  take  effect.  At  the
  expiration  of  ten  days  after  service  of  such order upon any city,
  village or suburban town the  speed  of  any  vehicle  upon  such  state
  highway  or  section  of  such  highway shall not be subject to any such
  maximum speed limit established by such city, village or suburban town.
    (b) The department of transportation may in its discretion at any time
  make a written order requiring any city, village  or  suburban  town  to
  report to the department of transportation the punishment inflicted upon
  conviction  of  exceeding  the  lawful maximum speed limit in such city,
  village or suburban town. Such order shall be in writing  and  shall  be
  served  in  like  manner as the order provided for in subdivision (a) of
  this section. Any city, village or suburban town upon which  such  order
  is  served  shall  thereafter, at the close of each month and before the
  fifth day of the following month, make a report  to  the  department  of
  transportation  showing  the  name and residence of each person fined or
  otherwise punished  during  the  month,  and  the  fines  or  punishment
  imposed.  Such report shall be duly verified by the officer or officers,
  or magistrate or magistrates  imposing  the  fines  or  punishment.  The
  department  of  transportation  may  at  any time suspend or rescind the
  order requiring such reports.   If any city, village  or  suburban  town
  fail  to make any such report as required by the order of the department
  of transportation within the time prescribed by law, the right or  power
  of  such  city,  village  or suburban town to impose any punishment upon
  conviction of exceeding the lawful maximum speed limit within such city,
  village or suburban town shall be suspended until the report is made  as
  required.

    S 1625. Traffic   regulations   on  restricted  highways.     (a)  The
  department of transportation, a county superintendent of highways, or  a
  town superintendent of highways, with respect to any restricted highway,
  as  defined  in  section  one  hundred  four-a  of  the highway law, may
  prohibit, restrict or regulate traffic on, or pedestrian use of any such
  highway. The provisions of section sixteen hundred shall  be  applicable
  provided,  however, that any action taken pursuant to this section shall
  supersede the provisions of this chapter where inconsistent with  or  in
  conflict with respect to the following enumerated subjects.
    1. Establishment of maximum and minimum speed limits at which vehicles
  may proceed along any such restricted highway.
    2. Weights and dimensions of vehicles.
    3.  Use  of  such  restricted  highway by pedestrians, equestrians and
  animals.
    4. Parking, standing, stopping and backing of vehicles.
    5. Control of persons and equipment engaged in work on such highway.
    (b) the provisions of this chapter with respect to registration  shall
  not  apply  to vehicles and equipment engaged in work on such restricted
  highways.
    (c) When used on such restricted highways, all traffic control devices
  shall be considered  as  official  traffic  control  devices  and  shall
  conform to the manual and specifications for a uniform system of traffic
  control devices adopted by the department of transportation.

   S 1626. Regulation  of  rest  and  parking areas and scenic overlooks.
  The department of transportation with respect to rest and parking  areas
  and  scenic overlooks provided by the department of transportation along
  state highways maintained  by  the  state,  may  prohibit,  restrict  or
  regulate  traffic  within  such  areas  and overlooks or the use of such
  areas and overlooks. Any action taken pursuant  to  this  section  shall
  supersede  the  provisions  of  this  chapter  where  inconsistent or in
  conflict therewith in  respect  to  the  establishment  of  maximum  and
  minimum  speed limits and to the parking, standing, stopping and backing
  of vehicles.

    S 1627. Designation  of  qualifying  highways and access highways. (a)
  The commissioner of transportation  shall,  for  the  purposes  of  this
  chapter,  by  rule  or  regulation,  designate qualifying highways which
  shall be highways on the  national  system  of  interstate  and  defense
  highways or federal-aid primary highways.
    (b)  The  department  of  transportation,  for  the  purposes  of this
  chapter, shall develop criteria to determine a highway providing  access
  between  qualifying  highways  and terminals, facilities for food, fuel,
  repairs, and rest and, in addition, for points of loading and  unloading
  for  household  goods  carriers.  The  department may, by order, rule or
  regulation,  designate  public  highways  within  the  state  as  access
  highways.  The  department  of  transportation,  upon the request of the
  legislative body of any city or village, or of a  county  superintendent
  of  highways,  or  of  a  town  board may, by order, rule or regulation,
  designate other city or  village  streets,  or  county  roads,  or  town
  highways,  respectively,  as  access  highways.  Before  designating any
  county, town, city or village, street or highway as an  access  highway,
  the  commissioner of transportation shall notify the municipality having
  jurisdiction over such street or highway of  the  need  for  such  local
  access   road  and  solicit  comments  thereon.  If  objections  to  the
  designation are filed by the municipality  having  jurisdiction  over  a
  particular  street  or highway, the commissioner of transportation shall
  set, as soon as practicable, a  public  informational  meeting.  If  the
  commissioner   of   transportation   finds,   after   holding  a  public
  informational meeting, that  his  proposed  designation  is  proper  and
  reasonable, prior to filing a notice of agency action he shall so notify
  the   municipality   in   writing   setting   forth   his  findings  and
  justifications for such designation. The  municipality  shall  have  the
  right  of judicial review pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil
  practice law and rules.
    (c) In  order  to  implement  the  provisions  of  this  section,  the
  commissioner   of   transportation   may  issue  a  permit  pursuant  to
  subdivision fifteen of section three hundred eighty-five of this chapter
  or may sign such public highways.

   S 1628. Traffic  regulations  on  bridge approaches to the barge canal
  system.  The department of transportation with  respect  to  any  bridge
  structure  that  crosses  a  waterway  which  is part of the barge canal
  system may by  order,  rule  or  regulation,  regulate  traffic  on  the
  approaches  thereto  by  means  of  traffic  control  devices,  physical
  barriers and traffic control signals for a distance  not  exceeding  one
  hundred fifty feet from such bridge structure.

   S 1629. Closed or restricted bridges; penalties for noncompliance.  1.
  As  used  in  this section, the term "bridge" means bridge as defined in
  article nine of the highway law.
    2. Any person who knowingly defaces, removes, obliterates or otherwise
  alters any duly posted notice of closing of a bridge, or  of  restricted
  access to a bridge, with intent to deny proper notice of such closing or
  restricted  access,  is  guilty  of  a  misdemeanor, and upon conviction
  thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred  fifty
  dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, by imprisonment for not more
  than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
    3.  Any person who knowingly operates a vehicle upon a bridge to which
  access is forbidden pursuant to the provisions of article  nine  of  the
  highway  law  is  guilty  of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof,
  shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty  dollars,
  by  imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and
  imprisonment.

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