1/31/2007New York Charging Drivers for Canadian Speeding Tickets
New York is charging drivers for speeding offenses committed in Canada.
New York motorists are finding that the state is charging them up to $525 if they receive a speeding ticket while driving in Canada. Fred Bilyeu, 82, was ticketed for driving 152km/h (94 MPH) in a 60 MPH zone while behind the wheel of a 2004 Hyundai in Ontario. He paid $150 for the offense and returned home to Oswego County thinking the matter was put to a rest. Almost a year-and-a-half later, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles billed him $450 for what he did in a foreign country.
"It seems like double jeopardy to me," Bilyeu told Gannett News Service. "I paid the fine once in Canada, then they tripled the fine. I don't feel it's a very good way for New York to be treating its citizens."
In 2004, a legislator slipped a "driver responsibility tax" provision into a budget bill in the middle of the night. It passed without notice or debate. The tax charges motorists $100 a year for 3 years if they accumulate 6 points on their license. An extra $75 is charged for each point over 6. So far, the tax has raised $70 million in profit.
Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton) told Gannett that he supports the tax, but only for offenses committed within the state. He will consider asking the DMV commissioner to adjust the regulations.