The Appeal: New York Ends A Punishment That Traps People In Poverty

“But a failure to appear in court is connected to poverty as well. People who can’t pay a traffic ticket may also not be able to take time off work to go to court, or may be unable to arrange child care. Those who can afford it can pay off their fines without the need to show up in traffic court.

“Driver’s license suspensions for failure to appear only punish poor New Yorkers who can’t afford to take time off of work to appear in court,” Scott Levy, chief policy counsel at Bronx Defenders, told the Political Report. “The state is shooting itself in the foot by not ending these suspensions for failure to appear. It means that thousands of people across New York will not get the benefit of being able to drive to work without the fear of being arrested.”

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