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Council Committee Gives Short Shrift to Deterring Traffic Violence

vallone.jpgPublic Safety Chair Peter Vallone, Jr.

It sounds as if yesterday's City Council Public Safety Committee hearing on Resolution 145, which calls on state lawmakers "to address the legal loopholes that allow dangerous and
deadly drivers to drive under the influence of drugs or to drive with a
suspended or revoked license," could have gone better.

According to Audrey Anderson, whose son Andre was killed by a motorist in 2005, the hearing was dominated by other resolutions, so that when it came time to hear testimony on traffic violence, council members were more interested in clearing the room.

"I couldn't even finish my statement," Anderson said. "None of them [members of the committee] really questioned any of us."

Anderson said that as she spoke about incomplete investigations of traffic collisions resulting in injury or death to pedestrians, she was interrupted by committee chair Peter Vallone, who said the city doesn't have enough police.

"He actually said this meeting was not about that," Anderson told Streetsblog. "I was stunned."

Yesterday's hearing was held to gather testimony; there was no vote. If the council's initial foray into tougher punishment for drivers who kill is any indication, Anderson, for one, isn't hopeful much will come of it.

"It was grandstanding," she said. "There was nothing more to it than that."

If anyone else out there attended the hearing, please leave your impressions in the comments.

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