1182-a. Multi-jurisdictional speed contests, races and similar special events. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the department of transportation may, by order, rule or regulation, prohibit or regulate races, speed contests, exhibitions of speed or other similar special events which are held on public highways in more than one county. Participants in an approved race, contest, or exhibition are exempted from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable thereto, but shall exercise reasonable care. Such rules and regulations shall include, among other things, provision for adequate insurance coverage; provision for approval by the municipalities involved; provision for payment or reimbursement of all the costs and expenses of the state which are incurred in connection with such an event; provision for assumption of risk for damages or claims by the organizer, sponsor, driver, rider or participant in such event; provision for the closure of or restriction on public use and travel upon highways or parts thereof for a certain period of time whenever the state or local police determine such is necessary to protect the public safety, security, or convenience. Prior to the scheduled date of a proposed multi-jurisdictional race, speed contest, exhibition of speed or other similar special event, the sponsor or organizer shall apply, in writing, to the department of transportation for consideration of and authorization to conduct such an event. Such application shall be reviewed by the commissioner of transportation, the commissioner of economic development and the superintendent of state police, or their designees. Only if such persons unanimously agree that the proposed event should take place, the department of transportation shall continue the review process and shall establish such reasonable requirements as are necessary to protect the public safety.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no person or entity shall have the right to bring an action against the state or municipality or any person employed by the state or municipality who was acting within the scope of his authority for damages resulting from or in connection with any such race, contest or exhibition. In the event of any such claim being brought against any such individual employed by the state, the provisions of section seventeen of the public officers law shall apply.
3. The division of state police and the department of commerce are hereby authorized to provide necessary support and assistance to the department of transportation in connection with its power to prohibit or regulate races, speed contests, exhibitions of speed or other similar special events pursuant to this section.
Last modified: February 3, 2019