Stefano, Costa Bill Allowing Community Service Alternatives to Driver’s License Suspension Passes Senate Committee

HARRISBURG – The Senate Transportation Committee voted today in favor of a bill sponsored by Sens. Pat Stefano (R-32) and Jay Costa (D-43) that would provide an alternative solution for Pennsylvania drivers who are unable to pay the fees of their suspended license: community service.

Senate Bill 1118 would allow for a magisterial district judge to determine if someone is financially unable to bear the costs of the fines/fees associated with a traffic offense and then instead assign community service as a payment alternative to an indefinite license suspension.

“Too often, young and economically disadvantaged drivers carry the burden of insurmountable amounts of debt, restricting their potential. Those individuals deserve a solution to retain their driver’s license so that they can continue to contribute to our communities,” said Stefano. “Providing this alternative for drivers to avoid a suspended license will not only empower those individuals to pursue employment or education opportunities but further enhance our workforce and aid the betterment of neighborhoods across the commonwealth.”

The bill would also allow those who currently have suspended licenses – due to violations of driving without a license, failure to appear in court or failure to pay fines – to be provided with the option of community service if a judge sees fit. The community service payment alternative could additionally apply to suspensions related to driving with a suspended license.

“I am delighted to be supporting this bill as we move the needle on justice for low-income drivers,” said Costa. “We know that members of our community who struggle financially rely on their cars to get to work, care for family, and manage day-to-day tasks. By allowing those drivers an alternate pathway for reinstituting their license, we are delivering a justice system that works for every Pennsylvanian. I look forward to getting this over the finish line.”

The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


CONTACT:    Amanda Cuteri, (Stefano’s office), 717-787-7175
                        Savannah Thorpe, (Costa’s office), 717-787-7683

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