A western New York driver who struck and killed a girl waiting at a bus stop was sentenced to probation last week after pleading guilty in March to reckless driving. Radames Candelaria, of Buffalo, told police he was exhausted from a long shift at work and nodded off at the wheel. His SUV drifted off the road and struck and killed 18-year-old Ashley Creighton as she waited for a bus.

No doubt his sentence will add to the fire of discussion which has taken place in the past year concerning punishment for New York drivers who strike and kill pedestrians. Some say police and prosecutors don’t deal harshly enough with these drivers. Sometimes the drivers are not charged at all, and often, when they are charged, they receive very light punishments such probation (in the case of Candelaria.)

Prosecutors say the problem stems from the fact that striking and killing a pedestrian is only a crime when the driver is negligent or does it purposefully. If the incident was strictly an accident, no crime has been committed, they say.

This does not sit easy with advocates for public safety, public transportation or those who encourage people to avoid using cars and walk/run/bicycle instead. They say the laws need to be changed drivers need to be prosecuted for violating the safety afforded to those who are using sidewalks, bike paths or bus stops.

Our defensive driving course online ny will help you become a better, defensive driver, and it might also help you lower your insurance rates. But nothing replaces common sense, and drivers who slow down and use caution when pedestrians are present are less likely to make mistakes with deadly consequences.