New York State Legislation Makes Carless Driving a Traffic Violation

This past August the New York State Legislature passed two bills that make carless driving a traffic violation in New York State. The bills, Hayley's and Diego's Law and Elle's Law are designed to give police and prosecutors additional tools to keep the streets safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers. Under the laws that existed prior to these legislative changes prosecutors would often hesitate to bring charges against drivers who accidently caused physical injury or death because the standards of criminal negligence and recklessness are difficult to prove. The new laws provide for an intermediate standard that the sponsors of the bill, Dan Squadron and Brian Kavanagh, hope will encourage the prosecution of careless drivers who cause death or injury to pedestrians, cyclists, or other drivers in New York State. Motorists who are convicted the new careless driving law will be required to participate in a driver education course and may be fined up to $750, be sentenced to up to fifteen days in jail and will have their drivers licenses suspended. *Paterson Signs Two Traffic Justice Bills Into Law, streetsblog.com, August 16, 2010 *New Law Targeting Careless Drivers Who Injure or Kill Pedestrians Set to Go In Effect, nydailynews.com, October 12, 2010

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