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Abinanti Urges A More User-Friendly DOT Website

Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has called for a more user-friendly Department of Transportation website for those whose vehicles were damaged by potholes.
Assemblyman Tom Abinanti has called for a more user-friendly Department of Transportation website for those whose vehicles were damaged by potholes. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- In a letter to state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti called for a more user-friendly website for motorists who want to claim motor vehicle damage from a pothole.

“Those damaged by DOT’s failure to maintain state roads should not be further frustrated by a user-unfriendly DOT website,” said Abinanti, D-Greenburgh/Mount Pleasant. “As the winter progresses, New Yorkers’ attention is turning more and more to potholes. I have heard complaints from drivers who found the DOT website challenging.”

Abinanti noted that the website section permitting drivers to file claims is not directly accessible from the homepage – only through navigating through several tabs. He also noted that the limitations on claims were not readily visible to a potential user who might file a claim not authorized by state law.

For example, the website does not reference Highway Law Section 58 limiting state liability for highway defects from May 1 to Nov. 15. “There is no mention of this limitation on the small-claims Web page or on the vehicle/vessel damage claim form Web page,” wrote Abinanti. “This is vital information that should be transmitted to the user before beginning the process of filling out a claims form.”

Abinanti has sponsored legislation (A.425) that allows individuals to pursue damages from potholes on state roads all year long. He has also sponsored legislation (A.965) to create an interactive website where motorists can report potholes on state roads and track the progress of their repair.

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