November 13, 2023
Dangerous driving can be deadly. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed over 3,500 lives in 2021. That same year speeding caused the deaths of over 12,000 people. That equals 29% of all traffic fatalities. Getting behind the steering wheel may be the most perilous thing most people do on a daily basis. The most careful and conscientious driver can be placed in a dangerous situation when other drivers choose to drive recklessly or otherwise violate the rules of the road. Unfortunately, these sorts of behavior can be seen on New York streets and roadways every single day.
According to a press release from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, the state will be taking steps to “bolster the ability to remove drivers who engage in risky behaviors from New York roadways.”
The press release, dated September 6, 2023, announces proposed changes to the DMV Regulations that will make it easier to remove dangerous drivers from the road and keep them off the road.
According to the press release, proposed changes, which were open to public comment until November 6, 2023, would make New York roads a bit safer by:
- Enhancing the Driver Violation Point System by assigning points for certain traffic violations which had previously warranted no points, including but not limited to speeding in a work zone and leaving the scene of a personal injury crash. The proposed changes would also increase the number of points for offenses that currently warrant the imposition of points. New York is also looking to increase the time frame for the accumulation of points from 18 months to 24 months. This means that points would linger longer, keeping drivers who consistently rack up points off the road.
- Stiffening the re-licensure process by allowing the DMV to consider an applicant’s driving history going back four years rather than just three. This would give the DMV a more complete picture of the applicant’s driving history when deciding whether to reissue a license to a driver who previously engaged in dangerous driving behavior.
- Lowering the requirement for permanent license forfeiture for drivers who repeatedly drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol by decreasing the number of alcohol or drug-related driving convictions from four to five. That would mean that applications for re-licensure would be denied if the person has four or more such convictions, hopefully reducing the number of habitual offenders from the roadway.
These proposed changes could help to reduce the number of dangerous drivers on the road. Someone who is willing to violate the rules of the road may, however, be willing to drive without a license or no insurance. Irresponsibility in the manner of operation could easily translate to financial irresponsibility. While the proposed changes are laudable, New York motorists would be well advised to ensure that they have supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) insurance coverage, which can help to provide an important source of compensation should the offending driver have inadequate (or no) insurance.
If you were seriously injured on New York roads and are looking for an experienced personal injury attorney, please do not hesitate to give the attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. a call. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to thoroughly investigate the crash, identify all applicable insurance coverages, and help you receive maximum compensation for pain and suffering.