Less than 6% of all suspended drivers are suspended for purely driving-related reasons.
This report relays findings from a study about the effects of driver’s license suspensions in New Jersey. For years, license suspensions have been imposed on motorists for reasons unrelated to public safety (i.e. to enforce payment of fines and fees), and this research suggests that residents of urban and low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to suspension than others. These populations suffer tremendous hardships due to loss of personal mobility, and the author proposes several reforms to mitigate these harms.
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- “Less than 6% of all suspended drivers are suspended for purely driving-related reasons.”
- 63% of suspended drivers live in urban areas and 42% live in low income communities.
- “Overall, the two categories of suspensions with the highest annual volume are failure to pay MVC insurance surcharges, followed by failure to appear in court to answer/pay parking tickets.”
- “45% of those that lost their job because of the suspension could not find another job. This was true across all income and age groups but most pronounced among low-income and older drivers.”
- New Jersey’s legislature should review programs and policies that are causing license suspensions, including the MVC insurance surcharge program and the Parking Offenses Adjudication Act.
- “New Jersey lawmakers should consider creating a restricted-use license program for at least certain suspended drivers (e.g., those suspended for financial reasons) under certain circumstances (e.g., to travel to/from work).”
Author(s): Jon A. Carnegie, American Institute of Certified Planners/Professional Planners