What you need to know about the ‘Reckless Driver Accountability Act’
Most car accidents can be traced back to a reckless or negligent driver. For a long time, there was not much punishment beyond fines for drivers who blew through red lights or stop signs or committed other moving violations.
Recognizing the problem, the New York City Council passed the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Law, also known as the Reckless Driver Accountability Act. The council voted overwhelming in support of the measure (41-5).
Violators must take a traffic safety course
According to NYC, the official website of the City of New York, the law means vehicle owners who receive more than five red light camera violations or more than 15 speed camera violations within 12 months will have to participate in a traffic safety course offered by the Department of Transportation. Authorities will have the right to impound the car of an owner who fails to complete the class. If someone else driving the owner’s car committed the moving violation, they can take the course instead.
“There’s a strong correlation between repeated speeding and red-light running offenses and a driver’s propensity to end up in an injury-causing crash, and getting them off the road and into a remedial driving course will quite literally save lives,” said Eric McClure, executive director of StreetsPAC, in Bklyner.
What is reckless driving behavior?
Reckless drivers are not merely careless or distracted. They operate with a disregard for the safety of others.
Here are a few examples of reckless driving:
- Excessive speeding
- Driving faster than what is appropriate for conditions
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Weaving from one lane to another
- Ignoring traffic lights or stop signs
- Driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs
How serious a problem is reckless driving?
According to StreetsBlog NYC, there are about 94,000 cars with five or more camera-issued red light or speeding tickets in the current 12-month period. Each of those cars has received seven tickets on average over just one year.
The push for the legislation started after a tragedy occurred nearly two years ago. A driver suddenly sped through a red light in Park Slope. The driver’s action resulted in the death of two children and injuries to two others, including a woman whose pregnancy was terminated as a result of the crash. The reckless driver had received 12 traffic violations in the previous two years.
How an attorney can help after a reckless driving accident
A crash involving a reckless driver can turn your life upside down. If you were injured, you may be unable to work or enjoy hobbies. You may be hindered from taking care of important household tasks. The death of a loved one can have a significant psychological and financial impact.
Unfortunately, the insurance company representing the reckless driver may try to downplay the serious nature of your injuries. They may try to convince you to accept a quick settlement and move on.
With so much at stake, it’s critical to contact an experienced Bronx car accident attorney. The legal professionals at Giampa Law bring extensive experience to every case they handle. Contact us online today for a free consultation.