BILL NUMBER: S9512 Revised 5/24/2024
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to including
red cross vehicles as authorized emergency vehicles
To define red cross vehicles and to designate red cross vehicles as
authorized emergency vehicles under the vehicle and traffic law.
Section 1: Amends section 101 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to add red
cross vehicles to the list of authorized emergency vehicles.
Section 2: Adds a new section 117-f to the Vehicle and Traffic Law to
define red cross vehicles and to establish requirements and standards
for their operation. Red cross vehicles must be equipped and clearly
marked as a red cross vehicle and no operator of red cross vehicles are
subject to privileges set forth in section eleven hundred four of the
Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Section 3: Sets the effective date.
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the
face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the gener-
osity of donors both across New York State and nationwide, every year.
This legislation will align state law to be commensurate with the
responsibilities of the Red Cross and to ensure Red Cross vehicles
receive parity in their treatment under state law.
Through an extraordinary network of volunteers, donors and partners, the
American Red Cross is a constant presence in times of need for New York-
ers. The American Red Cross provides shelter, food and comfort after
disasters; procures roughly 40% of the nation's blood supply; educates
New Yorkers and prepares them with knowledge and skills like first aid,
CPR, home fire safety, and disaster readiness that save lives every day;
provides international humanitarian aid following disasters; and
supports service members, veterans and their families.
The American Red Cross is a congressionally chartered organization and
is granted the legal status of "a federal instrumentality," in recogni-
tion of its charter requirements to carry out responsibilities delegated
by our federal government. Among these responsibilities are to maintain
a system of domestic and international disaster relief, including
mandated responsibilities under the National Response Framework coordi-
nated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The American
Red Cross works tirelessly to execute on this mission for New Yorkers in
their hour of need, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The American Red Cross also serves as a statutory member of the State
Disaster Preparedness Commission as mandated under Article 2B of the
Executive Law and has responsibilities as part of the Commission's Emer-
gency Response Plan. Every year across the country, the American Red
Cross responds to over 60,000 emergencies big and small. Across New York
State, during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, the American Red
Cross supported over 3,000 families in the course of responding to more
than 7,000 disasters across our state.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. With the help of
volunteer blood donors, the American Red Cross distributes blood
products across the country every day. It is the single largest blood
supplier in the country. Blood donations to the American Red Cross help
ensure that new mothers, premature babies, those living with blood
disorders, cancer patients, accident victims and the health care systems
that care for them have access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood
products around the clock.
Although American Red Cross vehicles are used to provide direct support
to New Yorkers experiencing disasters and transport life-saving blood
and blood products, these same mission critical fleet vehicles are not
currently classified as authorized emergency vehicles as defined under
New York State statute. No other organization, State agency or munici-
pality provides the services and assistance the American Red Cross
delivers year round for New Yorkers. City, State and local agencies
routinely rely on vital American Red Cross assistance to shelter victims
of disasters, support first responders, and provide supplies and trained
personnel such as mental health professionals.
For all of the aforementioned reasons, this legislation will add Ameri-
can Red Cross vehicles to the list of vehicles classified as authorized
emergency vehicles and provide appropriate alignment for these vehicles
and critical supports with existing classifications for vehicles provid-
ing similar services and will ensure parity in the treatment of Red
Cross vehicles under state law.
None to the state.
This act shall take effect immediately.

Statutes affected:
S9512: 101 vehicle and traffic law