Today: 21.04.2018
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State senate votes to stiffen unlicensed driving penalties.

The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Monday that would stiffen criminal penalties against unlicensed drivers who kill or seriously injure someone. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), would make it a Class E felony to seriously injure a person while driving with a suspended or revoked license — or a Class D felony...
Time: 18:16     Date: 16.04.2018
Metro News: State senate votes to stiffen unlicensed driving penalties. NY Post 24 - US News

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), would make it a Class E felony to seriously injure a person while driving with a suspended or revoked license — or a Class D felony for an accident that results in death, which would be categorized as a new crime called “vehicular homicide.”

Currently, unlicensed drivers involved in accidents typically get slapped with misdemeanors.

Gianaris redoubled his efforts to enact a tougher penalty after 13-year-old Kevin Flores was struck and killed while riding his bike in Brooklyn in January.

An unlicensed truck driver, Philip Monfoletto of Deer Park, L.I., was behind the wheel.

Monfoletto was charged with only a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license.

He had 9 open license suspensions and was only charged with misdemeanor charges because of New York’s soft laws. He even bragged about driving without a license on social media.

Under current law, drivers in New York face felony charges only if they have 10 suspensions on different dates.

Gianaris first introduced the measure targeting road menaces in 2014 after 8-year old Noshat Nahian was killed by an unlicensed driver while walking to school on Northern Boulevard in December 2013. The driver had a suspended license.

But the bill, which passed the Senate 59-0 without debate, has languished in the Democratic-run Assembly, whose leaders are wary of imposing criminal sentences for motorists involved in accidents.

The proposal now awaits action in the Assembly Codes committee.

“I am pleased the Senate passed this important proposal, which is the first step towards delivering justice for families victimized by reckless motorists. These dangerous drivers continue to kill because the current punishment does not fit the crime,” Gianaris said.

“We must get serious about strengthening our laws before another life is lost at the hands of drivers who should not be behind the wheel.”

“My dearest friend Kevin Flores was killed and had an amazing future ahead of him. It is really an honor that this bill was passed to honor not only him but the children that have been killed in car crashes. This shows a lot of love. We loved Kevin and miss him, so thank you once again,” said Neyfa Philogene, a seventh-grade classmate of Kevin Flores’ at Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School.

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