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Kill Someone with a Car, Avoid Serious Charges, Episode 1,324

4:04 PM EST on January 28, 2020

The Bensonhurst intersection where Maria Leon was killed earlier this month. The killer driver was coming towards the camera and turned onto W. Sixth Street into the pedestrian (not the one pictured in this Google image, of course).

City & State NY is hosting a full day New York in Transit summit on Jan. 30 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. This summit will bring together experts to assess the current state of New York’s transportation systems, break down recent legislative actions, and look towards the future of all things coming and going in New York. Join Keynote Speaker Polly Trottenberg, commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation, along with agency leaders, elected officials, and advocates. Use the code STREETSBLOG for a 25-percent discount when you RSVP here!

Cops have arrested the driver who ran over and killed a Bensonhurst senior in a crosswalk earlier this month — but the hasty driver is facing virtually no punishment for the death.

According to police, Carlos Negroni, 41, was driving eastbound on Avenue S on Jan. 14 at around 8:30 a.m. when he slammed his Ford F-250 into Maria Leon as he turned left on West Sixth Street, where Leon, 72, was crossing in the crosswalk with the light.

Negroni remained at the scene as Leon was taken, unconscious and unresponsive with head trauma, to Maimonides Hospital, where she died the next day. On Saturday, Negroni was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, low-level misdemeanors that carry a maximum of 30 days in jail, but typically lead to low fines.

The current political and enforcement system does virtually nothing to keep drivers like Negroni off the road, even when they kill. Convictions for failure to yield and failure to exercise due care would add five points to a driver's record with the state DMV — which only suspends licenses of drivers who accumulate 11 points in any 18-month period.

Even with those five points on his record, Negroni would be free to rack up as many camera-issued speeding or red light tickets as he wished, since the DMV does not count automated tickets on a driver's record. Negroni could even get pulled over by a cop for speeding — just three points! — and still not get a license suspension.

And if he stays clean for 18 months, the slate is erased so he can start accumulating points for dangerous driving again.

Negroni is just the tip of this corrupt iceberg. Driver John Sherman, who hit and killed a Marine Park senior as he backed out of his driveway in March, has gotten seven more speeding tickets since that incident. He also received minor charges and was back on the road nearly immediately.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles does not even keep track of how many drivers have had their licenses suspended in any given year, Streetsblog discovered last year. A pending bill by State Senator Andrew Gounardes would suspend the licenses of any driver with three or more moving violations in any rolling 12-month period.

The bill remains stuck in committee.

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