New York Consolidated Laws, Vehicle and Traffic Law - VAT § 603-a. Accidents;  police authorities to investigate

1. In addition to the requirements of section six hundred three of this article, whenever a motor vehicle accident results in serious physical injury or death to a person, and such accident either is discovered by a police officer, or reported to a police officer within five days after such accident occurred, the police shall conduct an investigation of such accident.

(a) Such investigation shall be conducted for the purposes of making a determination of the following:  the facts and circumstances of the accident;  the type or types of vehicles involved, including passenger motor vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, limited use motorcycles, off-highway motorcycles, and/or bicycles;  whether pedestrians were involved;  the contributing factor or factors;  whether it can be determined if a violation or violations of this chapter occurred, and if so, the specific provisions of this chapter which were violated and by whom;  and, the cause of such accident, where such cause can be determined.

(b) When present at the scene of such accident, the investigating officer shall also request that all operators of motor vehicles involved in such accident submit to a field sobriety test as defined in section eleven hundred ninety-four of this chapter provided there are reasonable grounds to believe such motor vehicle operator committed a serious traffic violation in the same accident.  Upon refusal to submit to such testing, such person shall be subject to the provisions of section eleven hundred ninety-four of this chapter.  The results of such field sobriety and chemical tests or refusals of such tests shall be included in the police investigation report.  For the purposes of this section, “serious traffic violation” shall mean operating a motor vehicle in violation of any of the following provisions of this chapter:  articles twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-eight, twenty-nine and thirty and sections five hundred eleven , six hundred and twelve hundred twelve.

(c) The police shall forward a copy of the investigation report to the commissioner within five business days of the completion of such report.

2. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) “commercial motor vehicle” shall have the same meaning as such term is defined in either subdivision four of section five hundred one-a or subdivision one of section five hundred nine-p of this chapter;  and

(b) “serious physical injury” shall have the same meaning as such term is defined in section 10.00 of the penal law .


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