The latest round of proposals from the safe street initiative called "Vision Zero" takes aim at hit-and-run drivers and people who assault taxi and livery drivers.
The city can't change state traffic laws, but it can impose civil penalties. One bill introduced by City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer imposes fines up to $5,000 on hit and run drivers in accidents resulting in death.
The other bill, introduced by Councilmembers Rory Lancman and Peter Koo, will require taxi and livery drivers to display signs describing the penalties enforced on those who assault drivers.
"Now, drivers will think twice before callously leaving the scene of an accident and any destruction they might have caused. Although you cannot put a price on human life, this legislation will ease the hardship victims' families face after their loss," said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez.
"Particularly in the case of driving under the influence, there is a perverse incentive for a driver to flee the scene as the punishments for fleeing the scene are less than for staying and potentially helping an injured person," said Van Bramer.
Civil Penalties, with a minimum fine of $250, would be recoverable at the Environmental Control Board, according to Van Bramer.
- Physical injury – $500-1000 fine
- Serious injury –$1000-5000 fine
- Death - $2000-5000 fine
The bills have the support of NYPD, NYC DOT and the Taxi and Livery Commission. The full council is expected to vote on the measures in a few weeks and more Vision Zero initiatives will be presented.