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Letters-to-the-Editor & Commentary

The State Should Pay For Pothole Damages Sustained On Its Roads

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February 11, 2024

This is pothole season.  If your car is damaged because you went over a pothole on a New York State-owned road  between November 15 through May 1 you are out of luck. If the same thing happened on a town, city or village owned road, you can get reimbursed, provided that you give written notice before making the repairs.

I think the state law exempting the state from liability for pothole damage on its roads between November 15 through May 1st should be changed. New York State should be treated no differently than local governments treat motorists. If you drive on a town, city, village road and go over a pothole and your car was damaged the local government is responsible if the municipality had received written notice and did nothing about it.  If you drive on a state owned road and your car is damaged due to the pothole the state doesn’t have to give you a penny!

The New York State Legislature has not taken adequate steps to maintain state owned roads over the years. For example, there are many potholes on Greenburgh streets that are state owned. If you drive over a pothole on state owned Central Ave and you get a flat, the cost of the repairs won’t be paid for by New York State –even if residents complained about the pothole to the state and the state ignored the problem.

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When he was a member of the Assembly, Tom Abinanti pushed for state legislation  that would have enabled motorists to get reimbursed for pothole related damages if the state had received written notice about the potholes and did not respond.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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