CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (News10)-News10 is looking into fatal crashes said to have been caused by revoked or suspended drivers. Our own Anya Tucker has been asking the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, law enforcement and and lawmakers what’s being done to keep these drivers from getting behind the wheel.

New York State Assembly member Pat Fahy serves on six committees including, Transportation. Today her focus was on a hearing for creating safer streets, listening to testimony from those who have lost loved ones. Anya asked the democrat who represents parts of Albany County what’s being done legislatively to better protect the public from revoked and suspended motorists who continue to drive. “Clearly not enough. We have work to do here where there are a couple of pending bills,” said Fahy.

Those include a proposed bill where suspended, revoked or no license drivers would face being charged with an E felony for causing serious physical injury while operating a vehicle. Another Assembly bill would require drivers convicted of Driving While Impaired, or Driving under the influence but who want a conditional license to provide proof that they purchased an ignition interlock device. The devices come with a breathalyzer mechanism connected to a vehicle’s ignition system. “Because the court can order it but there’s no follow through,” added Fahy.

Anya spoke with Fahy while examining recent fatal crashes which police say were caused by drivers with previously revoked and suspended licenses. There are several recent examples. There’s Anthony Futia, the accused motorcyclist in a fatal crash in Lake George which claimed the lives of a male pedestrian and a little boy. According to the NYS department of motor vehicles Futia never had a valid drivers license, yet he had previously been arrested for DWI. There’s also Samuel Keir, who the Albany Co sheriff says caused a fatal August crash in Bethlehem. On Sept 15th, State Police say a driver whose license had been permanently revoked caused this fatal crash on the Northway.

It is a crime to drive after your license has been suspended or revoked. When Anya asked the New York State DMV what’s being done to prevent these kind of drivers from getting behind the wheel, they emailed back saying they can only notify drivers of suspensions and revocations as well as placing suspensions and revocations on license files, which law enforcement can access. But that actual on-the-road enforcement is the responsibility of police. “But to be fair to law-enforcement, how are you going to know unless you are surveying somebody? I mean that’s nearly impossible,” said Anya to Fahy. “That is precisely a huge part of the problem. We need tougher laws.” responded the lawmaker.