Senate Bill Would Criminalize Egregious Drivers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -

Driving the wrong way or recklessly would become a felony with higher penalties, according to a bill that passed the State Senate on Wednesday. The bill, which would place a four-year minimum prison sentence, has been sent to the Assembly.

“Wrong-way and reckless drivers continue to jeopardize safety and endanger lives on our roadways,” Sen. Charles Fuschillo, the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement, “but the penalties they face under current law do not appropriately reflect that.”

Fuschillo, a Merrick Republican who chairs the Senate’s transportation committee, said that the bill’s inspiration came after at least 33 wrong-way driving crashes and arrests occurred on Long Island alone over the past two years.

The bill would create a class E felony for drivers who drive against the flow of traffic, more than 30 miles over the speed limit, while intoxicated or impaired, or while racing, pursuing other vehicles, or excessively weaving in and out of traffic.