Gov. Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed into a law a locally authored bill to force restitution payments from offenders by suspending their driver's licenses if they don't pay.
The law allows the state Department of Transportation to suspend the driver's licenses of people who fail to pay court-ordered restitution for vehicle-related offenses. It was Introduced by state Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Springettsbury Township, and inspired by York County Clerk of Courts Don O'Shell,
O'Shell had complained that the county has no means of forcing collection beyond sending notices and forwarding the debt to a collection agency, so suspending driving privileges will be a better way of ensuring collections.
There's nearly $30 million in restitution
The payments are made for expenses such as medical treatment needed as the result of drunk driving crashes and property damaged in crashes.
It can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, and O'Shell said some people don't pay anything for years.
Under the law, people who make a monthly payment arrangement and adhere to it would not lose their licenses.
Suspensions would continue until the offenders pays the restitution or enters into a payment agreement. If the person defaults on the payment arrangement, the suspension is re-imposed, according to the bill.