Hayley and Diego’s Law Might Be Enacted By Friday

StringerHayleyDiego.JPGManhattan Borough President Scott Stringer at a rally for Hayley and Diego’s Law last month. Photo: Noah Kazis

The only thing that can prevent the adoption of New York state’s first "vulnerable users law" is Governor Paterson’s veto pen. Hayley and Diego’s Law, named in memory of two pre-schoolers killed by a van left idling by a Chinatown sidewalk, would make it easier for law enforcement to file charges against motorists who injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists. It will go into effect in a matter of days as long as the governor doesn’t explicitly reject it.

Last week, the Assembly officially presented the bill to Governor Paterson, setting in a motion a 10-day countdown that ends this Friday. If Paterson signs it, the bill becomes law. If he ignores it, the bill also becomes law once the countdown expires. The governor would have to veto the bill, overturning a 38-23 vote in the State Senate and a 137-0 vote in the Assembly, to prevent it from becoming law.

We have a request in with the Governor’s office to see where he stands.

If the bill clears this final hurdle, the next question is how police and prosecutors will adjust. By defining the offense of "careless driving," the law should lessen the apparent reluctance of law enforcement to charge drivers who maim and kill on crowded city streets.

  • ddartley

    Why hasn’t the guy who killed the 3 year old namesakes of the bill still not been charged?

    It is so incredibly clear that the guy was criminally negligent. Even if that needed a clever legal argument to back it up (it doesn’t), he broke an already-existing law in creating the fatally dangerous situation when he exited his vehicle and left it unattended while it was running. Rule of two or some shit? What about charging him just with that? Just a ticket?!

    Yeah, this one has bugged the hell out of me from day one. And we’ve got this new DA that the livable streets movement had higher hopes for, and still nothing.

  • JayinPortland

    23 voted against it in the Senate?!

    Why?

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