Senator Saland Legislation To Notify Parents If Children Are Convicted Of Serious Traffic Violations Passes The Senate

Stephen M. Saland

June 06, 2006

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that his legislation (S.6558) to provide parents or guardians with notification of their child’s conviction of a serious traffic violation has passed the Senate.

While many parents are aware that they must sign a written consent form in order for their child to receive a junior driver’s license, most don’t know that they may withdraw their consent while their child holds a learner’s permit or junior license simply by filling out a withdrawal of consent form with Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

"Being convicted of a serious traffic violation may indicate a lack of experience, maturity or ability," said Senator Saland. "When such violation occurs, it is critically important that parents and guardians are aware that they have the right to withdraw consent if they feel their child’s safety is at risk."

A serious traffic violation might include but not be limited to unlawful street racing, illegal passing, tailgating, excessive speeding, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it, failure to wear a seat belt, etc.

Senator Saland's previous legislation, Sean's Law, allows a judge to suspend a driver's permit or junior driver's license upon charge of DWI or DWAI at the next regularly scheduled court session. The court is also required to notify parents or guardians of their child’s court appearance or failure to appear on DWI or DWAI charges.

Under Senator Saland’s new legislation, parents will receive a letter from the DMV notifying them of their child’s conviction of a serious traffic violation. Additionally, the letter will inform parents of their right to submit a form to DMV which allows them to withdraw consent for the issuance or reissuance of their child’s driver’s license or learner’s permit.

"I am pleased to have authored legislation that will increase the awareness of parents and guardians as to the safety of their children," Senator Saland said. "Young drivers who are reckless are those statistically most likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. This notification should result in greater parental involvement in these situations, and, in turn, serve to reduce accidents and injuries, as well as save lives."