Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Dec. 27, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Carroll, Gounardes Champion Bill to Take Dangerous Drivers off the Road

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Ditmas Park, Victorian Flatbush, Borough Park, Midwood) announced Thursday that Governor Cuomo signed his legislation to require the commissioner of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend the license of a driver when the DMV receives a police report indicating that loss of consciousness was a contributing factor to a crash or if a report from a physician or other qualified medical professional indicates evidence of loss of consciousness.

Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Robert Carroll

“After the tragic crash that took place just a few blocks from my District Office, which took the lives of two young children it became clearer to me than ever that our State must do more to make the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists a top priority,” said Carroll.  “I drafted this legislation shortly after that crash and have been working to make it law for almost two years.  Thanks to the Governor’s signature today, if loss of consciousness was a contributing factor to a crash, or if a driver demonstrates evidence of loss of consciousnesses through a medical professional then that driver’s license will be suspended or denied until they are medically cleared.”

The new law requires that DMV suspend a license upon receipt of a police report stating that loss of consciousness was a contributing factor in a crash, or if a statement from a medical professional indicates evidence that the driver experienced loss of consciousness. DMV must offer to hold a hearing to review such action, upon the licensee’s written request, but the license will remain suspended until such time that the licensee is medically cleared. Previously a report of this nature would only start a review, but the licensee could still drive in the meantime.

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

“This law will prevent tragedies from unfolding on our City’s streets. With traffic deaths on the rise again this year, we have to do everything we can to stop the heartbreak and horror of traffic violence. Thanks to Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and Assemblymember Robert Carroll for his tireless efforts in service of safer streets for all,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park), the bill’s sponsor in the Senate.

On March 5, 2018 in Park Slope, an individual who was operating a motor vehicle was reported to have suffered a seizure while stopped at a red light, losing consciousness and striking two adults and two children, killing both children. 

“Had this legislation been in place prior to this crash in Park Slope, the driver’s license would have been suspended and she may not have been behind the wheel that day. This bill is a significant step toward addressing factors relating to drivers losing consciousness, awareness or control due to chronic, ongoing conditions and it will make pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists safer,” added Carroll.

Espinal Calls on City Council to Legalize E-Bikes

City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Cypress Hills, Bushwick, City Line, Ocean Hill, Brownsville, East New York) released a statement reacting to Governor Cuomo’s veto of a bill to legalize electric bikes and scooters. He said:

Council Member Rafael Espinal
City Council Member Rafael Espinal

“Governor Cuomo’s veto of this vital legislation is an ultimate set back for the tireless advocacy of so many in New York City and across New York State. This move directly combats the effort to supplement our City’s faltering public transportation system and the fight for the rights of immigrant workers.

Legalizing e-bikes is the next step in New York City living up to its duty as a sanctuary city for immigrants, and as a fair city for its workers. While we work hard to improve our public transit system across the City, we also need to support alternative modes of transportation to assist those that live in transit deserts, which includes e-scooters. 

Together, electric bikes and scooters will deliver justice to targeted workers and transit options to underserved communities. Regardless of what ends up happening in Albany, I am fully committed to passing the related legislation we hold in City Council.”

Cuomo Unveils Strategy to Build High-Speed Rail in New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the 13th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda – convening outside experts to reexamine and rethink strategies to bring high-speed rail to New York. The Governor will task a panel of engineers to reexamine past high-speed rail plans, question and rethink every assumption and method, and recommend a new plan for how to build faster, greener, more reliable high-speed rail in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“High-speed rail is transforming economies around the world. We’ve been told that bringing this technology to our state is too expensive, too difficult and would take too long – that’s not an acceptable attitude for New York,” Cuomo said. “When we developed our plan to repair the L Train Tunnel, the team of experts we assembled questioned every assumption and brought new creativity to a seemingly intractable problem. We not only found a way to repair the tunnel without shutting down service, we are doing it ahead of schedule. This kind of outside-the-box thinking will help us determine how we could deliver high-speed rail for New York.”

Most of the State’s population lives a short distance from the Empire Corridor, which connects the State through New York City, Albany, and Buffalo. However, these lines average 51 miles per hour, meaning it is often the slowest method available for New Yorkers.

Recommendations to implement high-speed rail across the State, which have not changed much over the last two decades, have consistently estimated that projects would take decades and be unaffordable. This team of experts will review these past studies and strategies that countries all over the world have used to build thousands of miles of high-speed rail, to ask every question and find the best way to build high-speed rail in New York.

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