(WIVB)-A bill was passed by lawmakers Wednesday that would not allow a person to lose their license because they haven’t paid traffic tickets.
The bill was sponsored in the state senate by Tim Kennedy. He says the fines and fees from traffic tickets affect people of color more than others.
“Through this bill, we’re not only lifting the suspensions tied to unpaid traffic fines, but we’re creating a system for New Yorkers to pay these fees efficiently and without fear of losing a job, missing a rent payment, or forfeiting an education due to personal and financial challenges,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “This measure has already been enacted in several states and is currently being considered in many others. New York needs to catch up. I’m pleased to see this reform pass the legislature swiftly upon our return to Albany, and I urge the Governor to sign this important reform into law immediately. ”
The legislation also creates a payment plan for drivers facing fines.According to data provided by the Driven by Justice Coalition, during a recent 28-month period, New York issued over 1.6 million driver’s license suspensions related to traffic debt. Driver’s license suspension rates in New York are nearly nine times higher in the ten poorest communities compared to the ten wealthiest.