Is your driver’s license valid? It may not be. In the last 28 months, New York issued nearly 1.7 million driver-license suspensions for not paying traffic tickets. That is nearly two thirds of all license suspensions in New York.

New York State lawmakers are saying enough is enough. A new bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein seeks to amend the vehicle and traffic law so that drivers who owe unpaid fines will not face arbitrary license suspension.

“License suspension has significant adverse consequences,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “Without a driver license, people cannot drive to work or to school or even to court to pay their fines. It’s an unfair and unjust practice that’s been going on for too long, and I’m proud to be co-sponsoring Assemblywoman Hunter’s legislation.”

Currently, those who continue to drive with suspended licenses, even unknowingly, risk criminal charges and more unaffordable fines and fees. Assemblyman Eichenstein pointed out that this is totally unnecessary and unproductive. Instead, this legislation would end traffic debt suspensions and make affordable payment plans available to help pay fees that are owed. That would considerably reduce prosecution and arrests, allowing law enforcement and the courts to focus on more serious crimes and on drivers who pose an actual danger on the roads.

This proposed legislation is gaining momentum in the State Assembly, as legislators are eager to see license suspensions curtailed.

“Let’s keep our safe and responsible drivers on the roads instead of being embroiled in needless and wasteful court appearances,” said Assemblyman Eichenstein. “This new legislation would represent a victory for all New York drivers.”