“Hayley and Diego’s Law” Goes Into Effect : Careless Drivers Will Now Face Jail Time for Injuring Pedestrians

JOIN US, Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Margaret Chin, Transportation Alternatives, other elected officials, and pedestrian safety advocates to announce that a new law is in effect that increases the penalties for careless drivers who injure pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Last year, Hayley Ng, 4, and Diego Martinez, 3, were tragically killed in Chinatown when a delivery van that had been left in reverse climbed the curb and hit the children. The driver in question was not charged with any infraction resulting from the children’s death;

Press Conference
Thursday, October 14, 2010 – 1:30 pm
Southwest corner of Essex Street and Delancey Street

The legislation imposes the following penalties on drivers whose failure to exercise due care results in injury to pedestrians or bicyclists:
• For the first offense, a fine of $750 or 15 days of jail time or participation in a driving training course; and
• For the second offense, a misdemeanor charge.

Senator Squadron said, “New York is a great town for walking and biking, but the deaths of Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez serve as a tragic reminder that careless driving is dangerous and should have consequences. Hayley and Diego’s Law will send a message to be careful and make our streets safer for millions of walkers and bikers,.”

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said, “This legislation sends a message that the right to drive a car in our city does not include a license for recklessness. After the tragic incident last summer that took the lives of Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez, it was essential for the State Legislature to act. I was proud to work with Assemblymember Kavanagh, State Senator Squadron and Transportation Alternatives to develop this commonsense measure to protect New York’s pedestrians and cyclists.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “It is vital that drivers in New York City – where there are so many pedestrians and bicyclists – take every possible precaution to avoid the horrible incident we saw in Chinatown last year, when young Hayley and Diego were tragically killed. We must create real penalties for those who drive recklessly and endanger innocent lives. Our vibrant streets and sidewalks are what make our city great, and we must ensure that cars, pedestrians and bicyclists can share them safely.”

“To reduce the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed on New York State’s roadways, we’ve got to take dangerous driving seriously,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “Hayley and Diego’s Law signals a new culture of respect.”

May Ng, Hayley’s mother, said, “Nothing that can undo the crash that took Hayley away from us, but we can prevent tragedies like this from happening to other families. And we can hold someone who breaks the law and takes a life responsible for their actions. We hold each other’s lives in our hands whenever we get behind the wheel–we all need to live up to that responsibility.”

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5 Responses to “Hayley and Diego’s Law” Goes Into Effect : Careless Drivers Will Now Face Jail Time for Injuring Pedestrians

  1. I think the penalties, as described in this article, are not nearly severe enough.

  2. Ted L says:

    Either we’re responsible for our actions, or we’re not.

    If we are, than more jail time is required. An increase in fines just favors the wealthy giving then a relatively cheap buyout as with corporate malfeasance.

    While the circumstances would have to be examined more closely than with a moving violation, heavier penalties should prevail. The fact is that even with speeding and reckless incidents, rarely is any penalty imposed. So why drive safely?

  3. Christine Berthet says:

    We all pushed for much stronger penalties ( impound the car, no driving privilege and jail term). The elected felt that any stronger punishment would not fly. Let’s view this as a first step, creating a new type of offense ” careless driving ” with a much lower threshold of proof. There will be future iterations to stiffen the penalties.
    And do not forget Elle’s law
    http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A10617&Summary=Y&Text=Y

  4. R. M. Torres says:

    I hope Drivers get the message and we continue to put the pressure on to pass laws or whatever it takes to make New York City Streets safer for all of us!

  5. martin treat says:

    Int, No. 370, a new law requiring the NYC Police to account for and compile data on vehicle pedestrian crashes throughout the city, is up for adoption through the Council Transportation Committee, Thurs. 11/4, 1oAM. CHEKPEDS will be there to testify in favor (pointing out improvements as well). Transportation Alternatives and many other advocacy groups will attend as well. At last, a measure that will help enforcement focus on most dangerous locations and driver situations that cause serious injury and fatalities against walkers. NYCDOT has already completed a study and does this new law from City Council mean that they will become more of a force for safety and that the precincts do more to defend the pedestrian?

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