NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5604
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the display
of green lights on the vehicles of members of mobile crisis teams
Relates to the display of green lights on the vehicles of mobile crisis
response staff members.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill amends the vehicle and traffic law by allowing mobile crisis
response staff members to use a green light on their motor vehicle when
engaging in an emergency operation.
Section 1 amends the vehicle and traffic law to provide mobile crisis
response staff members with the ability to use an affixed green light on
any motor vehicle owned by such a member. Additionally, in relation to
this act, the terms "mobile crisis response services" and "mobile crisis
response staff member" are defined. It defines "mobile crisis response
services" as services to provide an immediate and short-term emergency
response to individuals who are in a state of mental, emotional, phys-
ical, and behavioral distress in order to prevent a critical incident.
Additionally,defines the term "mobile crisis response staff.member" as
an.individual who is an employee or a designated volunteer of a duly
authorized mobile crisis response team or other established crisis
Section 2: States the effective date.
Green lights are an effective tool used by some emergency personnel to
alert drivers that they must pull over to allow for emergency vehicles
to go by. This procedure allows for timely responses to emergency calls.
As the State seeks to implement crisis centers, trained mobile crisis
response staff members will be responding to various mental, emotional,
physical, and behavioral distress calls in order to prevent critical
This bill seeks to allow mobile crisis response staff members the abili-
ty to equip their personal vehicles with a green emergency light while
responding to emergency calls. (Note: A previous version of this bill
vetoed due to an incorrect interpretation of the law by the Office of
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
To be determined.
This act shall take effect in 180. days.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
March 16, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. MAGNARELLI -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the display
of green lights on the vehicles of members of mobile crisis teams
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Paragraph 5 of subdivision 41 of section 375 of the vehicle
2 and traffic law, as amended by chapter 504 of the laws of 2022, is
3 amended to read as follows:
4 5. Green light. (a) One green light may be affixed to any motor vehi-
5 cle owned by a member of a volunteer ambulance service or by a member of
6 a mobile crisis team, or on a motor vehicle owned by a member of such
7 person's family, or by a business enterprise in which such person has a
8 proprietary interest or by which he is employed, provided such member of
9 a volunteer ambulance service has been authorized in writing to so affix
10 a green light by the chief officer of such service as designated by the
11 members thereof, or provided such member of a mobile crisis team has
12 been authorized in writing to so affix a green light by the office of
13 mental health or the office of addiction services and supports. Such
14 green light may be displayed exclusively by such member of a volunteer
15 ambulance service, or a member of a deployed mobile crisis team, only
16 when engaged in an emergency operation. The use of green lights on vehi-
17 cles shall be restricted for use only by a member of a volunteer ambu-
18 lance service or a member of a mobile crisis team as provided for in
19 this paragraph except as otherwise provided for in subparagraph c of
20 this paragraph.
21 (b) As used in this paragraph [volunteer] the following terms shall
22 have the following meanings:
23 (i) "volunteer ambulance [service] service" means: [(i)] (A) a non-
24 profit membership corporation (other than a fire corporation) incorpo-
25 rated under or subject to the provisions of the membership corporations
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5604 2
1 law, or any other law, operating its ambulance or ambulances on a non-
2 profit basis for the convenience of the members thereof and their fami-
3 lies or of the community or under a contract with a county, city, town
4 or village pursuant to section one hundred twenty-two-b of the general
5 municipal law; or
6 [(ii)] (B) an unincorporated association of persons operating its
7 ambulance or ambulances on a non-profit basis for the convenience of the
8 members and their families or of the community[.];
9 (ii) "mobile crisis team" shall have the same meaning as mobile crisis
10 teams as defined by paragraph eleven of subdivision (a) of section 36.03
11 of the mental hygiene law; and
12 (iii) "office of mental health and office of addiction services and
13 supports" shall mean the autonomous offices established within the
14 department of mental hygiene pursuant to section 5.01 of the mental
15 hygiene law.
16 (c)(i) In addition to the amber light authorized to be displayed
17 pursuant to paragraph three of this subdivision, one or more green
18 lights or combination green and amber lights may be affixed to a hazard
19 vehicle designed for ice and snow removal owned and operated by the
20 state or by a county, city, town or village. Such green light or lights
21 may be displayed on a hazard vehicle designed for ice and snow removal
22 owned and operated by the state or by a county, city, town or village
23 when such vehicle is engaged in a hazardous operation and is also
24 displaying the amber light or lights required to be displayed during a
25 hazardous operation pursuant to paragraph three of this subdivision.
26 Nothing contained in this subparagraph shall be deemed to authorize the
27 use of green lights on hazard vehicles designed for ice and snow removal
28 owned and operated by the state or by a county, city, town or village
29 unless such hazard vehicles also display one or more amber lights as
30 otherwise authorized in this subdivision.
31 (ii) The commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regu-
32 lations relating to the use, placement, power and display of green
33 lights on a hazard vehicle designed for ice and snow removal owned and
34 operated by the state or by a county, city, town or village.
35 § 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
36 it shall have become a law.