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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Theresa says:

    Seems drastic & there is no way to prove intent. All becomes heresay in judgement unless there is alcohol/drug involved. Even so – no one is perfect. I have accidentally driven once up a one-way street in the wrong direction during night hours – I didn’t even see a sign marking one-way. But I was tired and moving from one apartment to another – extra exhausted. I don’t think it could have caused an accident but I was lucky. I was also driving a range rover and am attractive – police asked me what I was doing and let me go. Would have been different situation on a fast-paced street or highway. Felony is too drastic if no alcohol/drug involved – especially if no death. I think this type of driving activity causing destruction should be reviewed on a case by case basis.

  2. david says:

    Many freeways have the entrance and exit ramps adjacent to each other. How bout some real big painted arrows-showing correct direct direction- at each entrance and exit. The elderly often get easily confused as do the drunks (not to mention someone unfamiliar with the area). Help them!

  3. KPMc says:

    Yes… if you make it illegal that will prevent DRUNKS from going down the wrong way.

  4. Realist says:

    Proposing ridiculous legislation for your own political puposes should be a felony

  5. JC says:

    wrong way spikes would stop them before they get to the danger point. If your tires are taken out you can’t go anywhere unless your determined to get away..then it would be a felony.

    1. WilsonVictor says:

      You have cameras that can make out a face and compare it to a database of faces, but you cant use a camera to tell which way a vehicle is going?
      Drop a bunch of these camera’s around areas that have issues, and have some mobile ones and have them link back to a command center to alert them when it detects a wrong way vehicle.@Jack

    2. WilsonVictor says:

      Another Senator trying to look good. We don’t need a new law for this. Stop spending money in none senses. If you are driving the wrong way it is either because you are an idiot, you are drunk or under other kind of “influence”, or just because of bad street signals. Stop stupidity in this country. Enough is enough.@Henz I just paid $23,98 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $37,59 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $677 which only cost me $72,13 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentStart.com

  6. AnnonUSA says:

    More laws that we do not need. has it been proven to any degree that any of these “wrong way drivers” intentionally drove the wrong way?

    People are just so desperate to assign blame and demand penalties.

    Existing laws on the books are all we need. Stop over legislating.

  7. Nick says:

    Make it a death penalty. And this whole exercise will stop being a waste of time.

  8. Tamra Daneen says:

    Michael and Martin had good points about how we can save a new law and replace it with enforcing existing ones – some smart people on this thread I tell ya🙂

  9. Tamra Daneen says:

    DP said it best – lots of holes in this one. I think the idea is right, but like Felony said, maybe its just a way for some political guy to look good. Either way, I hope the hearts in the right place with this – too many wrong way crashes to read about everyday let alone be involved in or have family involved in. So sad to hear that Diane Schuler’s family is being sued for her mistakes.

  10. Martin says:

    Prevention is better than punishment. Limited access roads with on-ramps and off-ramps should have depressible tire shredders in the off-ramps sthat will go down into slots in the pavement when vehicles exit as they should, but willl remain up when a vehicle drives the wrong way on an off ramp.

  11. Rugbyball says:

    You have cameras that can make out a face and compare it to a database of faces, but you cant use a camera to tell which way a vehicle is going?
    Drop a bunch of these camera’s around areas that have issues, and have some mobile ones and have them link back to a command center to alert them when it detects a wrong way vehicle.

    1. Tamra Daneen says:

      Good idea!!!

  12. Felony? says:

    Another Senator trying to look good. We don’t need a new law for this. Stop spending money in none senses. If you are driving the wrong way it is either because you are an idiot, you are drunk or under other kind of “influence”, or just because of bad street signals. Stop stupidity in this country. Enough is enough.

  13. KOKOLOKO says:

    I totally agree with both, Michael an DP! A new law to feed a legistator ego? Or how well informed ( the proper size and lettering, color etc.) are the drivers conducting our highways that you no matter the state of mind will be able to tell you are going the wrong way???

    1. Tamra Daneen says:

      Lettering and color will totally make a difference, good idea koko!!

  14. Michael says:

    Does this really happen often enough so that we need another new law against it? We don’t need more new laws, we need better enforcement of existing laws. I think career politicians like to create new laws because that way they can hang their hat on their own legislation, and either use it to get re-elected or run for higher office. Like the recent trial baloon of the “Liebby Law” of turning stores into safe harbors for lost children. Stupid.

  15. DP says:

    I’d like to see a draft of the bill. As described, it has some problems.

    Either you know you’re going the wrong way, or know you’re intoxicated (the text of the article wasn’t clear), or you don’t know you’re going the wrong way, and you don’t know you are intoxicated — or simply sick (food poisoning, adverse drug interactions, etc). So the question is how do you know what the driver *knew* when they ended up going the wrong way? And is there a positive defense?

Comments are closed.

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