New York City lawmakers and officials develop and enact traffic laws to maintain order and safety on the roadways. While some laws are aimed at protecting motorists themselves, others are meant to serve as protection for the pedestrians, cyclists, workers and others who share the roads with drivers.
In New York City and elsewhere, driving is a privilege. Just like parents take privileges away from their children when they misbehave, the benefit of being permitted to drive can be suspended or revoked. A motorist may have a suspended license for a number of reasons, including repeated or aggravated traffic violations.
In New York City, as well as in other cities and towns throughout the U.S., having a driver’s license is a privilege. When drivers violate certain laws, particularly traffic laws, the department of motor vehicles can suspend and even revoke that privilege. Despite the ability to suspend and revoke drivers’ licenses, it can be difficult for police to impose those suspensions, often resulting in more time being added onto the suspension, in addition to increased fines and even the possibility of a revocation hearing.
In New York and other states, there are a number of reasons for which a person’s driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. Threat of a suspended license is, in many cases, meant to act as a deterrent to prevent drivers from committing traffic violations. Suspending or revoking a driver’s license is a more sever consequence than fines or points on your license, but is not quite as severe as a jail sentence. For the most part, drivers submit to following traffic laws in order to avoid penalties such as license suspensions and maintain roadway safety, but there are other drivers who do not.
Lawmakers in New York and other states have difficult tasks. They must balance individual rights with preserving public safety. Sometimes, as is often the case with traffic laws, laws must be adjusted. Any number of reasons could lead to a law being reformed, such as no longer being applicable or in order to create stricter punishments for breaking laws. When fines or points on a driver's license do not encourage motorists to obey traffic laws, lawmakers develop and enact more severe consequences in order to ensure the roads remain safe.
Criminal and traffic courts, in conjunction with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, may suspend a driver’s license for certain traffic violations or for repeated offenses. The goal of a suspended license is to keep a driver who does not obey traffic laws off the roads. Motorists found to be operating a vehicle despite a suspended driver’s license could face more severe penalties for traffic offenses, as well as for unlicensed driving.
Often, a minor traffic infraction can lead to significant other charges. Even the smallest traffic violation, such as speeding, allows law enforcement officers to stop and search you, and your vehicle if there appears to be just cause. This further investigation can turn up other legal issues, like outstanding warrants or a suspended license.
Driver's licenses are often taken for granted. It is easy to forget that little plastic card is a privilege. For motorists who regularly violate traffic laws, that privilege can be taken away. There are a number of reasons one's driver's license could be suspended, such as habitual traffic violations, serious traffic infractions, failure to appear at court hearings and more. In the event a person's license is revoked, either temporarily or permanently, it is expected that they will not get behind the wheel until it has been reinstated. New York and other states' drivers who are caught driving with a suspended license, regardless of whether it was knowing or unknowing, could face serious consequences.
For drivers who hit the road with a suspended license, there can be serious consequences. New York and other individual states all have their own penalties for motorists who drive with a revoked driver's license, like fines, points on their license or permanent license suspension. Depending on the state, a driver could even face jail time for getting caught driving with a suspended license.
Last month, a Buffalo man was informed that the state Department of Motor Vehicles had suspended his driver's license for nonpayment of a traffic violation issued to him while he was in New York City.