NYC Mayor pushes for tougher penalties after Broadway star's daughter, friend's son killed in Brooklyn - Gothamist News/gothamist.com

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Friday, March 16, 2018

NYC Mayor pushes for tougher penalties after Broadway star's daughter, friend's son killed in Brooklyn



There is a new attempt to crack down on dangerous drivers in an effort to make streets safer across the five boroughs, with local leaders calling for new laws after a deadly crash in Brooklyn claimed the lives of two young children.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said these types of horrific car crashes cannot and should not be regarded as normal in New York City before announcing a number of legislative goals on the heels of the latest crash in his old neighborhood of Park Slope.

A driver with a medical condition plowed through a crosswalk last week, killing 1-year-old Josh Lew and 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein. Both young children with their mothers at the time.

The driver, 44-year-old Dorothy Bruns, of Staten Island, told police she had a seizure at the time of the accident.

In the days that followed, details emerged that the driver's car had been cited eight times in the 19 months leading up to the crash, four times for running red lights and four for speeding in school zones.

As a result, de Blasio pushed for legislation in Albany that would achieve three goals:

First, he wants to double the number of cameras in school zones, saying they have been proven to reduce crashes.

Second, he wants an increase penalties for camera violations so that car owners could potentially lose their registrations.

Third, he wants to require drivers' doctors to notify the DMV of certain medical conditions that could cause them to lose consciousness.

"These are the kinds of measures that are going to make us safer," he said. "Obviously, these are the kinds of measures that could have averted the tragedy that happened in this community."

There is still a massive memorial in honor of the two children, and many parents are supportive of the calls for tougher laws.

Safe Streets Activist Cara Cancelmo said she moved to Park Slope under the delusion that it would be safer than in Manhattan, where she says she was almost killed by a speeding cab driver. But like many, she was heartsick over the deadly accident.

"I was horrified and broken when I learned two young children were killed just blocks from my new home," she said. "But I was not surprised."


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