With nearly 20 million residents, New York is one of the most populated states in the nation. And with bustling cities like New York City, driver and pedestrian safety becomes a huge priority and a big task for elected officials. Hence, you may not be surprised to learn that NY driving laws are always changing to keep up with the times.

And while there isn’t expected to be any major new regulations that take effect in 2018, we decided that this would be a good time to recap laws that are likely to come, as well as recent laws that have taken affect over the past few years. It’s worth noting that these laws are also covered in our online defensive driving course NY.

Here’s a closer look:

New and Recent NY Driving Laws

Paving the Way for Autonomous Vehicles

One notable development in New York that’s likely to come down the pike in 2018 is a mandate that will permit autonomous vehicle testing in the state. Specifically, it’s expected that the state’s 45-plus year-old law that all drivers must have at least one hand on the steering wheel at all times will be axed. It’s a stipulation that’s prevented autonomous vehicle testing in the state thus far, and eliminating it will certainly make such testing much more feasible.

The “Move Over” Law

When emergency vehicles are in the area, it’s customary for consumer vehicles to slow down and pull over to make way. But this law was expanded in early 2017 to include more types of emergency vehicles. Specifically, any motor vehicle that displays a green or a blue light qualifies under the updated law. These may include the likes of volunteer firefighters or volunteer ambulance workers who otherwise may not have qualified. So, if you’re driving in New York and see a vehicle with flashing lights approaching, make sure you slow down and move over to make way. Who knows, ensuring that emergency vehicles can get through safely and quickly could be the difference between life and death for someone.

Window Tint

Whether it’s for style or personal privacy reasons, many drivers like their windows tinted to some extent. However, in 2017, a new stipulation was passed to regulate this. Specifically, window tint must now be examined on an annual basis by the New York safety inspection. To pass, all vehicles must be tinted no more than 30 percent of light transmittance. Anything beyond 30 percent and the vehicle will not pass, and will need to adjust the tint before it can legally return to the road. The revamped window tint mandate is to allow police officers and emergency personnel to better see inside consumer vehicles, and was established for safety reasons.

Those are three of the most recent happenings when it comes to New York driving laws, and certainly the one that has the potential to be the biggest is none other than the one that makes it legal to test autonomous vehicles in the state. While autonomous vehicles are still likely years away from being more widely produced, to get to that next step, the cars first need to be tested. By eliminating the law that all New Yorkers must have at least one hand on the steering wheel, New York is joining a list of many other forward-thinking states in ensuring that the technology of tomorrow has a place in the state today.

Stay tuned for any other New York driving laws or changes to existing driving laws that could come in 2018.