Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) have introduced legislation calling for insurance providers to allow discounts to drivers who have been trained to operate an emergency vehicle.
First responders who drive emergency vehicles, including police cars, fire engines, and ambulances undergo extensive and rigorous training in the safe operation of these vehicles. Many of these vehicles are larger and more complex than civilian vehicles, and are operated with a degree of caution above and beyond that of most other drivers. Insurance providers in New York already offer various discounts to drivers, including senior citizen, good student, and military discounts, as well as discounts for avoiding accidents, completing an accident prevention course and using anti-theft devices.
New Yorks emergency responders go above and beyond every day to ensure public safety is prioritized, often putting the needs of the community above their own, said Senator Tim Kennedy. Through this legislation, these brave men and women would have access to the same financial discounts already offered to other drivers, extending a small token of gratitude for the service and sacrifice they offer year-round.
Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are trained to operate complex emergency vehicles in stressful situations on a daily basis, said Assemblymember Karen McMahon. These drivers necessarily possess the ability to operate their personal vehicles with the same caution and responsibility. While there are numerous insurance discounts available, none acknowledge the care and awareness of drivers who work as first responders operating emergency vehicles. In addition to there being no fiscal cost to the state, this legislation also serves as a way to thank first responders during COVID-19, when weve relied on their service even more.