NEW YORK – According to Nyc.streetsblog.org, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a new commissioner. The state’s DMV has not had a leader for about four years, and many pleas made by safety advocates have been ignored as a result of the lack of leadership.
The new commissioner, the Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder, will now hear the many requests for policy changes. Safety advocates are hoping that Schroeder will guide the DMV into an agency that regulates vehicle use rather than promotes the use of cars.
Roads are dangerous in New York and in the United States. In many countries, getting a driver’s license is a far more arduous task. In Germany, much more is required to get a license, and the country has far fewer per capita vehicle-related fatalities than New York.
One suggested change is to make it easier for drivers to have their licenses suspended or revoked. Many people are permitted to drive even after being convicted of serious driving violations such as reckless driving. The lenient system permits drivers to make multiple dangerous mistakes, some of which are fatal, before ever having their licenses taken away.
The group Families for Safer Streets wants families of victims of traffic accidents to have access to the courtroom when the driver is on trial. The group wants drivers to hear the impact they have had on the victim’s family.
Because the risk of getting into a car accident increases with a driver’s age, the DMV could also institute more retesting requirements.
Safety advocates believe that doctors should have the ability to anonymously report potentially dangerous drivers to the DMV without being in violation of the doctor-patient privilege laws.
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