As reported by Michal McKinney in the October 13, 2010 edition of the Providence Journal, a Westerly woman has lost her driver's license for two (2) years. The woman ran a red light and crashed into a motorcyclist, killing him. The woman admitted to the traffic violation at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal and she received the maximum penalties for the violations. She was ordered to pay fines and court costs and her license was revoked for two (2) years. The victim of the crash, Colin Foote, inspired the passing of new legislation in July. The Colin Foote Act, also known as R.I.G.L. 31-27-24, allows for:
Every person convicted of moving violations on four (4) separate and distinct occasions within an eighteen (18) month period may be fined up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), and shall be ordered to attend sixty (60) hours of driver retraining, shall be ordered to perform sixty (60) hours of public community service, and the person's operator license in this state may be suspended up to one year or revoked by the court for a period of up to two (2) years.
The woman who caused the accident had twenty (20) tickets for speeding and other traffic violations in the past eight (8) years and six (6) warnings for speeding. The more serious criminal charge of driving to endanger-death resulting against the woman is still being tried at the District Court level. If convicted of the criminal charge, she could face additional license suspension. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 31-27-1:
When the death of any person ensues as a proximate result of an injury received by the operation of any vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others, including violations of § 31-27-22, the person so operating the vehicle shall be guilty of "driving so as to endanger, resulting in death".
Any person charged with the commission of this offense shall upon conviction be imprisoned for not more than ten (10) years and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for no more than five (5) years.