2016-05-25 / Features

Gianaris’ Bill To Crack Down On Dangerous Drivers Passes


“I am glad the Senate passed my proposal to get tough on dangerous drivers. We must crack down on drivers who should not be on the road, before the next tragedy occurs, not after,” said Senator Gianaris. “I am glad the Senate passed my proposal to get tough on dangerous drivers. We must crack down on drivers who should not be on the road, before the next tragedy occurs, not after,” said Senator Gianaris. The New York State Senate passed Senator Michael Gianaris’ bill (S2484A) to crack down on drivers who kill or seriously injure others while driving with revoked, suspended or otherwise invalid licenses. The bill would make such an event a felony and is included in the Vision Zero agenda. Assemblywoman Marge Markey carries the bill in the State Assembly.

“I am glad the Senate passed my proposal to get tough on dangerous drivers. We must crack down on drivers who should not be on the road, before the next tragedy occurs, not after,” said Senator Gianaris. “Too many families have grieved at too many vigils, and too many pedestrians have died because of these bad drivers. I urge the Assembly and Governor Cuomo to follow suit and enact my proposal into law immediately.”

Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, said, “Unlicensed drivers are among the most dangerous on our roads – a person driving with a suspended license is twice as likely to cause a fatal crash. This legislation sends a powerful message that New Yorkers will no longer allow unlicensed drivers to wield the deadly weapon of an automobile on our streets. Thanks to Senator Gianaris’ leadership, prosecutors would soon have more tools to bring about much-needed driver accountability in the Vision Zero era.”

“As he pledged nearly three years ago, after the death of Noshat Nahain by a driver with a revoked license, Senator Gianaris has remained steadfast and committed to justice for victims of reckless driving. When an unlicensed driver is involved in a traffic death or serious injury, a family suffers twice due to the lack of means to strictly prosecute drivers,” said Cristina Furlong of Make Queens Safer. “Senator Gianaris’ bill, (S2484A) will create a felony charge for those drivers who have knowingly broken the law and put others in harm’s way, either through a death or serious, life-altering injury. This legislation can’t come soon enough, as there are reports in the news daily of similar tragedies in which the driver is not charged in any meaningful way. We hope that the risk of steep consequences will deter dangerous drivers from getting behind the wheel. We are grateful to Senator Gianaris for his leadership on the matter of vehicular assault and we encourage the Assembly and Governor Cuomo to enact this proposal into law without delay.

Senator Gianaris, a longtime advocate for safer streets, first introduced this bill after a truck driver without a valid license struck and killed Noshat Nahian, a 3rd grader at PS 152 in Woodside on his way to school on Northern Boulevard in December 2013. Senator Gianaris renewed his call for these measures after Angela Hurtado was killed by a driver with a suspended license in Maspeth in January 2014 and after a pedestrian was killed by such a driver on Woodside Avenue in February of 2014.

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