NEW YORK (WPIX)—Advocates are calling for tougher laws and enforcement that will keep suspended and unlicensed drivers off the road.
City Council Member Larry Seabrook was joined by supporters on the steps of City Hall Sunday, after three New Yorkers were killed by drivers with suspended licenses just last weekend.
Peter Sabados, 78, and his wife Lillian, 77, were struck on their way to a Thanksgiving mass at their church Nov. 25. Bride-to-be Sonya Gayle Powell, 42, was also hit as she crossed Baychester Avenue on her way home from Christmas shopping. Both drivers carried multiple suspensions on their licenses.
According to advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives, unlicensed drivers are nearly four times as likely to be involved in traffic crashes as those with valid licenses. And yet, 75% of drivers with suspended licenses continue to drive.
"What kind of sick system encourages dangerous drivers to get back behind the wheel again and again, only to give them a slap on the wrist when they inevitably kill or injure others?" asks Paul Steely White, Executive Director of the organization. " New York needs stronger laws and enforcement to keep the most dangerous drivers from taking lives."
The group is proposing that the state impose vehicle sanctions with the first offense, and strengthen penalties against unlicensed drivers that injure or kill. Advocates are proposing that any driver who has committed two or more dangerous moving violations within the 18 months before a fatal or injurious crash could be changed with a felony.