On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s SB 62 aimed at reducing the life-long impact of license suspensions on those who have committed traffic violations at a young age. The bill reduces the time periods that an individual must wait before applying for a probationary driver’s license which permits driving a non-commercial vehicle between 6 am and 7 pm. The legislation does not address DUI or aggravated assault by motor vehicle.
A district judge brought this issue to Senator Greenleaf’s attention, raising his concern over youth between the ages of 16 and 20 getting their license suspended. Many young people before the judge had received a minor traffic violation, and for reasons of immaturity, they failed to respond to the citation. They subsequently incur a one year license suspension, which when also ignored, can soon result in multiple suspensions amounting to many years.
“While young people should be held accountable just like everyone else, the license suspensions written into current law can punish someone well into adulthood, long after they have matured and have maintained perfect records,” said Senator Greenleaf. “The snowball effect of accumulated suspensions received in one’s late teen years are effecting them well into their 30s and 40s while they are raising families. This legislation maintains appropriate and effective punishments, but restores fairness into the law and minimizes life-long effects.”
Currently, in order to receive a probationary license, a person with one to seven offenses must serve at least three years of suspension. Eight to 14 offenses must serve at least four years; 15 to 21 offenses must serve at least five; and a person with 22 or more offenses must serve at least six years of suspension. SB 62 would reduce each of these time periods by half.
Contact: Aaron Zappia (215) 657-7700