HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Motorists across the state may sue to recover damages to their vehicles six months out of the year.
Now some Long Island lawmakers want year-round Albany help for drivers who hit potholes, blow tires, and crack windshields on state roads.READ MORE: Stephen Sondheim, Legend Of The Broadway Musical, Dead At 91
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, it is a jaw-numbing, teeth rattling experience trying to stay safe on the Long Island Expressway.
Frank DeLustro doled out nearly $1,000 to repair four flats and a cracked windshield.
“I was stuck on the side of the road, horrible thing, 4:30 in the morning, being stuck there, loneliest feeling around,” DeLustro said.
Currently, New York state is not liable for year-round damages to vehicles on state highways. A Long Island state senator is proposing to change that.
“Starting Nov. 16, and during the colder months, there is a blackout period where motorists are prohibited from getting reimbursement to damages to their car. My bill would erase that time,” said Sen. Alexis Weik.READ MORE: Gov. Hochul: No Known Cases Of New COVID Variant 'Omicron' In New York
When cars are damaged on defective roads, hitting potholes or debris, between Nov. 15 and May 15, it is the driver’s responsibility to pay.
In the past, when lawmakers tried to broaden this, it was voted down, with many arguing there’s no good way to patch roads that crumble over winter, with asphalt plants closed.
“The state needs to stand with the integrity of the roadways. We need to fix the roadways, then we need to stand by them,” said Assemblyman Douglas Smith.
With billions on its way to New York from the infrastructure bill, there’s a renewed bipartisan push to protect drivers and taxpayers all 12 months a year.
“Show us that our tax dollars are being used for what we, the taxpayers and drivers, expect,” said Al Eisenberg at Al’s Hubcaps in Mineola. Customers have been lobbying for state help.
“We are paying taxes and for that money we should be reimbursed the whole year round. It doesn’t make sense to just black it out after Nov. 15,” said motorcycle safety advocate Nick LaMorte.MORE NEWS: NYPD: Landlord-Tenant Dispute Suspected In Canarsie Fire That Seriously Injured 2
Unless the bill passes, six months a year only drivers can get reimbursed up to $5,000 per state roadway disrepair incident.