The New York State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-I-Buffalo) Wednesday that would allow the City of Buffalo to adjudicate traffic violations with the option of having a plea bargain.
New York currently handles traffic tickets within the city and does not allow plea-bargaining, a major contrast to the plea-bargaining system that is made available to all other municipalities throughout the state, including all other cities, towns and villages in Western New York.
Under the proposed law, drivers would be allowed to argue if the fine should be reduced. Drivers who commit serious violations could go to driving school to make sure points are not added to their records, and that their insurance rates do not increase.
The bill is supported by City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown as well as the Buffalo Common Council, which recently passed a home rule in support of this. Similar legislation was passed in 2011. The bill will now be sent to the State Assembly.
"The lack of plea-bargaining in Buffalo raises insurance rates and is a detriment to city residents and anyone who works or visits the city," Grisanti said. "I am glad to have the support of our city officials and remain hopeful that the members of the Assembly will support this measure and help to introduce it into law."