Pennsylvania could soon yank licenses of some drivers

Pennsylvania could soon yank licenses of some drivers

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Pennsylvania drivers who fail to take care of debts owed for incidents of bad driving could soon be out of luck when it comes time to renew their driver’s license.

The Senate voted 46-3 to advance a bill to the governor that is supposed to help the state collect about $90 million for victims of driving-related offenses through restitution. House lawmakers already approved the bill – HB1617 – by unanimous consent.

State law requires a minimum 50 percent of payments made by a defendant to be applied to restitution.

Awaiting Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature is a bill that would allow Pennsylvania courts to suspend the driver’s license of any defendant failing to pay full restitution for such incidents as striking a building.

Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam, said that driving-related infractions often result in large sums of money ordered by the court to be paid as part of restitution.

“This bill becoming law means providing the courts with another tool ... to make people responsible for their irresponsible actions,” Gillespie said in a statement.