Fuschillo: Make Wrong-Way Driving A Felony In New York State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A state legislator from Long Island wants to make wrong-way driving a felony after another fatal crash on a New York highway.

Sen. Charles Fuschillo is urging of the state Assembly to pass his bill just days after a wrong way crash in New Rochelle.

Authorities say a 26-year-old Queens woman was drunk when she drove six miles the wrong way on Interstate 95 before slamming into another car, killing a New Jersey man.

There have been several other wrong way crashes in New York in recent years.

Fuschillo said on Long Island alone, there have been over 20 incidents of wrong-way driving. Last November, an off-duty police officer was killed on the Northern State Parkway.

In 2009, Diane Schuler went the wrong way on the Taconic State Parkway and crashed into an SUV, killing eight people, including herself, her daughter, three nieces and three men in another car.

Toxicology reports showed Schuler was driving with a blood-alcohol level double the legal limit and that she’d been smoking marijuana. The accident is said to be the worst in Westchester in over 75 years.

Fuschillo’s bill would make wrong-way driving a felony, either knowingly or because of intoxication.

“The current charge is only an unclassified misdemeanor which is absurd, our penalty in New York State must be stronger, it must be felony charge to serve as a greater deterrent for those who choose to recklessly drive the wrong way on parkways,” Fuschillo told 1010 WINS.

What do you think of the bill? Let us know in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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