Jersey Assembly lawmakers have unanimously approved a bill that would create
stiffer penalties for unlicensed drivers in the state who cause accidents
resulting in another person’s death.
effort now heads to acting Gov. Richard Codey’s desk. It previously won
unanimous support in the Senate.
Dubbed “Christopher’s Law,” it is named for Christopher Williamson, a 12-year-old
Cranford, NJ, boy who was riding his bicycle when he was struck and killed by
an unlicensed driver in June 2004.
driver, 64-year-old Tomas Pineda, was fined a total of $433 in a municipal
court. That total included court costs and a contempt fine for failure to appear
at an initial hearing, localsource.com reported.
current New Jersey law, the maximum penalty for driving without a license is a
by Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Linden, S2144 would allow unlicensed drivers to be
found guilty of a third-degree crime, which would include anywhere from three
to five years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine, or both.
also would need to wait a year before applying to obtain a license.
separate bill in New Jersey would toughen penalties for driving without
Assemblymen Douglas Fisher of Cumberland and John Burzichelli of Gloucester
have introduced a measure that would permit police to have an uninsured vehicle
removed from a roadway and be impounded. Currently, an officer may have an
unregistered vehicle impounded. However, doing the same to an uninsured vehicle
is not allowed.
uninsured vehicles are often also unregistered, this bill is intended to clear
up any uncertainty in the law.
is in the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.