NY lawmakers consider ending license suspensions for unpaid traffic tickets

June 18, 2019 06:44 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — State lawmakers are considering changing the system for dealing with drivers who don't pay traffic tickets.

According to a report by the Driven by Justice Coalition, nearly 1.7 million New York state driver's licenses were suspended for traffic debt between January 2016 and April 2018.


Rochester has one of the highest traffic debt suspension rates in New York. In the 14611 ZIP code there were 4,168 suspensions in 2016 alone. With nearly 12,500 people of driving age in the ZIP code that year, that's one suspension for every three people.

The report also found that people of color and people who live in the poorest neighborhoods are more likely to have their licenses suspended.

Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, has introduced a bill that would end license suspensions for people who fail to pay tickets or who don't show up in court. It also calls for other reforms, like payment plans and additional notification for court appearances. 

The legislation would still require drivers to pay their tickets. It would not end suspensions for divers who rack up too many points on their licenses or commit crimes, like vehicular homicide.

Similar legislation has also been introduced in the Assembly.


Lynette Adams

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.