Yesterday the City Council held a hearing on street safety for older New Yorkers. The hearing came while the deaths of Lillian and Peter Sabados, an elderly Staten Island couple run down by Allmir Lekperic on Thanksgiving eve, are still fresh in people’s minds. But when it comes to keeping drivers like Lekperic from harming others, The Staten Island Advance reports, some of the borough’s council reps seem to think they’ve exhausted their options:
"You do everything you can, but at some point,
it’s out of our hands," said City Councilman James
Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn). "There are people who put
their keys in their car and believe the road is theirs, and
they don’t care what consequences that means for you or
I or anyone else.
"Frankly, it’s a surprise we haven’t had
even more fatalities, when you think about all the times we
see people driving recklessly in this borough."
Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore) agreed with his
colleague. "It’s sad we have to turn to
traffic-calming devices to protect people from reckless
drivers," Ignizio said.
Lest the council members forget, Lekperic was a known public menace before he killed the Sabadoses, racking up 29 license suspensions. Yet thanks to a legal system rife with loopholes and light penalties, he could keep on driving. It may be up to Albany to change these laws, but Oddo, Ignizio, and the rest of the City Council could help set the agenda. Earlier this year, the public safety committee, chaired by Peter Vallone, Jr., turned down the chance to pass a resolution telling state legislators that loopholes enabling deadly driving must be closed. Both Vallone and Oddo are co-sponsors of Resolution 145, which specifically calls for measures to keep unlicensed drivers like Allmir Lekperic off the road.
It’s also worth noting that Oddo and Ignizio haven’t shown much care for safer street design either. They last appeared on Streetsblog clamoring for the removal of bike lanes in their home borough.