Victims, Electeds: Time for Action Against Driving While Unlicensed

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Spurred by the recent hit-and-run deaths of three pedestrians, Transportation Alternatives led a protest on Sunday calling for new measures to keep unlicensed drivers from getting behind the wheel. On the steps of City Hall, advocates were joined by David Sheppard, fiance of Sonya Powell, and City Council Member Larry Seabrook.

According to the DMV, 10 percent of all crashes in New York are caused by unlicensed drivers; TA says 75 percent of motorists with suspended licenses continue to drive. To curb the carnage, and hold illegal drivers accountable, TA has proposed the following:

  • Getting unlicensed drivers off New York State roadways by impounding the vehicle of anyone caught driving with a suspended license.
  • The passage of Assembly Bill 5124, introduced by Assembly Member Joe Lentol, which would subject any driver who has committed two or more dangerous moving violations within the 18 months before a fatal or injurious crash to a felony charge.
     

Yesterday’s event got a thorough treatment on NY1. It would be a huge momentum-builder if Mayor Bloomberg or Public Advocate-elect Bill de Blasio were to add their voices to the chorus against DWU before the death toll rises again.

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