You are reading

Van Bramer’s Hit-and-Run Bill is Passed by the City Council

Photo: Jimmy Van Bramer (Twitter)


Sept. 24, 2014 By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation yesterday that would fine drivers who flee the scene of an accident up to $10,000.

The Council voted 49-0 in favor of the legislation that was introduced by Jimmy Van Bramer following three hit-and-run deaths that have occurred in Western Queens in the past year.

“I am proud to have sponsored Intro 371, the ‘Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,’” Van Bramer said in a statement. “I was moved to introduce this bill in response to the death of three people who were killed in my district by drivers who fled the scene.”

Last September, Luis Bravo, 19, was killed crossing Broadway in Woodside. Meanwhile, Karen Pheras, 20, was struck and killed around the same time crossing Queens Plaza North. Then in March, Kumar Ragunath, 64, was killed crossing Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“They all lost their lives because of the unconscionable actions of reckless drivers who showed no concern for the lives of these three people,” Van Bramer said. “We will never know if one or all of them could have been saved had the drivers done the right thing: stopped their car and called 911.”

All three drivers have yet to be caught.

“It’s something you never get over,” said Bravo’s mother, Martha Puruncajas, at a recent council hearing.”The pain is unbearable, the pain stays,” she said, adding that she hopes stiffer penalties would prevent future tragedies.

Under the bill, those who leave the scene of an incident without taking action would be subject to pay a civil penalty of up to $500 if property damage stems from the incident; $1,000 to $2,000 if a person is injured; and $2,000 to $10,000 if there is serious injury or death.

Currently there are no “civil” penalties in New York City if someone flees.

Criminal penalties are determined by the state lawmakers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law. The law would take effect ninety days after he signs it.

email the author: [email protected]

7 Comments

Click for Comments 
Klaus

@Oleary…agreed shame on JVB and this transparent self promotion. .as for MMV , would you expect any less?.She has a knack for the obscene.

Reply
John O'Leary

I wrote to Van Bramer’s office to say that I, like my family members & some neighbors were appalled that he & the Speaker used this woman for self-serving purposes. Van Bramer responded & disagrees.

Politicians’ photo ops have a dual purpose, self-serving, publicity for themselves, & promoting public knowledge about a matter. That’s understood, a reasonable trade off.

But here, the woman’s grief stricken face, private & overwhelming grief now made so public, even with her knowledge & consent, has passed the line of decency. The aforesaid duality is not in evidence with the use of this picture. Rather, it screams “self-serving.” Frankly, to have used it is obscene.

Surely, the photographers took other photos of this woman & could have used them. Usually, pictures that depict family members whose loved ones have died in a tragic way portray the surviving family looking sad, somber.

My neighbors who feel the same way will not publish that, so this comment includes them as well.

Sincerely,

John Michael O’Leary, Esq.

Reply
Mr. Cheese

JVB’s work is done. Now go on vacation or back to sleep until it’s time for another picture taking.

Reply
Moishe

Great job Jimmy! I do take exception to the “communist” assertion….Ms. Viveros has the right to express her opinions and beliefs…you of all people should know better…this law is long over due.

Reply
Stay Loose

Why hasn’t this been a law on the books for years? I am doubtful that this will thwart hit and run drivers for a while until some drivers who are fined are well publicized in the media. But at least we don’t have to go through the crushing dismay when hit-and-run drivers get off scot free.

Reply
Jake M.

Why is there any opposition to traffic calming measures? I really don’t get why people in such a densely populated city value parking spaces and wide boulevards dissecting our community over quality of life.

Western Queens isn’t the suburbs. There is absolutely no need for the conditions to exist that allow this kind of reckless driving in the first place.

Pedestrians should be more careful and bikers should obey the law, I completely agree. That doesn’t negate our need to adapt our city to reflect how the majority of us get around and live our lives.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.