The Criminalization of Dangerous Driving
In New York, the prosecution of sober drivers who disregard minor traffic regulations and cause the death or physical injury of other motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists, has been criticized as weak or non-existent. This is due, in large part, to a small patchwork of laws that only provide prosecutors with a limited opportunity to ascribe criminal culpability to acts of vehicular violence. That, however, may be changing. In his Criminal Law and Procedure column, Barry Kamins examines proposed legislation that would establish four new offenses.
In the coming legislative session, New York hopes to join five other states in enacting legislation that criminalizes conduct which, until now, has escaped the reach of our criminal laws. The Grand Jury found in its report that vehicular violence is “an epidemic in New York City.” It remains to be seen whether the Legislature will respond to the problem in a meaningful way.
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