Friday, January 25, 2013

Cuomo Aims to Limit Plea Deals for Drivers Speeding/ Texting

 According to The Daily News, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is aiming to limit plea deals for drivers caught speeding or using their cell phones.  Often, local courts allow these violations to be reduced to parking violations, which means no points for the driver and a full fine payment for the town.  Cuomo wants to make it more difficult to plea down to lesser violations if a speedster has exceeded the speed limit by at least 20 mph, and add an $80 surcharge on any traffic violations resulting in pleas deals.  He is also proposing a minimum $50 penalty for talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. Citing road safety, the governor believes the changes would be a deterrent to reckless drivers.
Plea bargains cost the state almost $58 million in lost surcharges; under Cuomo's plan, the city would generate around $25 million for New York per year.  AAA New York is opposing the new surcharges, saying the plan is "a tug of war between the state and local governments over surcharges and drivers are paying the price."
What do you think of the Governor's plan?  Safer streets or just more money for the state?

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