About 150 people weathered the cold in New York city in protest against reckless driving, demanding that the city’s district attorneys begin filing charges against reckless drivers who kill and injure New Yorkers on the streets every year.
Protestors want DA’s to file charges
The protestors braved the cold to demand justice from NY City’s five DAs alleging that a culture of lawlessness rules the road because the DAs do not charge anyone for reckless driving. Many innocent people like Amy Cohen’s son were killed in 2013 with no charges being filed to hold the driver accountable. Several Albany, NY drunk driving accident attorneys also agree that fatalities can be avoided with stricter laws.
Amy founded the Families for Safe Streets after the tragedy. She says that it is only in exceptionally rare cases that drivers are arrested for reckless driving. No action is taken even when the victim dies. Since 2012, there have been 500 pedestrian and cyclists who were killed by drivers. Only two hit and run cases were investigated by the police according to records while as few as 2 percent of drivers were prosecuted.
Families for Safe Streets outline a fivefold demand
- Comprehensive training of all staff in the DA’s office, including, changes in the terminology from ‘accident’ – where fault cannot be found – to “crashes” or “collisions”.
- Uphold the Right of Way Law, which allows criminal penalties for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians.
- Lead the charge on behalf of the city against reckless sober drivers in order to bring about changes in state and city legislature.
- The introduction of ‘restorative justice’ and other such alternative sentencing measures for vehicular violence cases allowing input from the victims’ families.
- Share all data related to vehicular violence. This will enable DUI attorney cases to be separated from sober cases of vehicular crashes.
Three of the DAs are on the ballot this year
According to Albany, NY drunk driving accident attorneys, with three of the city’s five District Attorneys running for re-election this year, they can work towards changing the laws in the state and make them more stringent to deter non DUI related crashes. While DUI attorneys can seek redress in the courts on behalf of their clients, sober drivers receive a second chance under the “rule of two” which allow first time offenders of serious collisions to get off lightly without criminal charges.
Manhattan DA Cy Vance who easily secured a second term in 2013, promised to challenge the “rule of two” and work towards reducing NY traffic violations as part of his campaign. He said that a single vehicular offense is enough to kill and the “rule of two” needs to be reviewed as even violations like speeding or not stopping at a red light can prove to be fatal for someone. However, after securing office he has failed to challenge the “rule of two” and has not made changing traffic violation law in Albany a priority.
Dana Lerner, the mother of another victim, says that action needs to be taken by Mr. Vance rather than provide false campaign promises. Who does he think he is―President Obama? The President blasted his predecessor for driving up the national debt while he has spent far more than President Bush (without having the decent economy) and still have two years to go. Hopefully the DAs of New York are not this hypocritical or hypocrites at all.