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Fines increased for hit-and-run crashes, other measures enacted as part of new traffic laws in New York

This week Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package to enhance street safety, prevent traffic-related fatalities, and crack down on hit-and-run accidents.

Two new laws allow municipalities to reduce speed limits to 25 mph and increase fines for leaving the scene without reporting a car crash.

“Every New Yorker deserves to feel safe when traveling on our streets, whether they are driving, cycling, or walking,” Governor Hochul said. “These new laws will help prevent senseless tragedies and injuries by cracking down on erratic and irresponsible driving. Today, we are reaffirming our commitment to keeping New Yorkers safe and using every resource available to save lives.”

How do the new laws work?

Legislation (A.1007-A/S.2021-A) will help prevent traffic-related crashes and fatalities by allowing municipalities to reduce speed limits to 25 miles per hour.

Research suggests faster driving speeds correlate to more serious injuries and fatalities for pedestrians in the event of a crash.

Under current law, the default maximum speed limit throughout a city, town, or village may not be set lower than 30 mph. By giving municipalities local control to reduce speed limits, this legislation will improve public safety and prevent pedestrian fatalities.

Legislation (A.3964/S.9163) will deter hit-and-run incidents and enhance public safety by increasing fines for leaving the scene of a car crash without reporting it.

Hit-and-run incidents are particularly dangerous when an individual is hurt and the driver at fault fails to report it, since that person may not get the proper care when they need it.

This legislation will increase the fine range for leaving the scene of a personal injury crash to $750-$1,000 and increase the fine range for a repeat violation to $1,000-$3,000.

What does the data say?

Earlier this year, a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that traffic fatalities during the first half of 2021 had increased 18.4 percent since the first half of 2020, even as many New Yorkers worked from home.

Categories: New York StateNews