New York Gets Vulnerable Roadway Legislation
According to a Streetsblog entry:
On Friday evening, New York Governor David Paterson signed two bills intended to make streets safer by giving law enforcement greater leeway to bring charges against reckless drivers.
As we’ve found in Rhode Island, law enforcement officials and prosecuters are often hesitant to bring forward charges against drivers who strike pedestrians or cyclists, because criminal intent or negligence is often tough to prove. There new law:
creates an intermediate charge — a traffic violation called careless driving — which prosecutors can use in cases where criminal convictions seem unlikely. Motorists found guilty of careless driving will have to complete a driver education course and face fines up to $750, jail time up to 15 days, and license suspensions up to six months — or a year for repeat offenders.
This is very similar to the vulnerable roadway act we’ve been trying to get passed in Rhode Island for the last two legislative sessions. Now that more states are jumping on the vulnerable roadway user bandwagon and we have more legal precident for such legislation, perhaps this will be the year we finally get some legislation passed in Rhode Island. Our intent is to once again find sponsors for this legislation. We will keep readers informed of our progress as we move forward. If anyone is interested in assisting us with this effort, please contact us.