Unsafe Drivers Could Have Car Impounded Under Proposed NYC Bill

car speeding recklessly

One NYC Council member has been pushing for tougher penalties for dangerous drivers. Councilman Brad Lander announced new legislation in June 2018 that would take away vehicles from drivers who put others at risk or who have racked up multiple violations within a year. The bill has yet to come up for a vote.

The legislation comes just a few months after the tragic deaths of two young children on a Park Slope street corner.

“Even with the good work we’ve done through Vision Zero, being hit by a vehicle is the main cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second most common cause for seniors in New York City,” said Lander, “the Reckless Driver Accountability Act takes an innovative, data-driven, and restorative approach that will make NYC a leader in reducing dangerous driving and saving lives.”

Lander’s proposed bill has three main components:

  1. Cars tagged by five or more speed or red-light cameras within one year would be booted or impounded until their drivers completed a to-be-created Reckless Driver Accountability Program. The owners of vehicles that receive four camera violations will be issued a warning notice and get the chance to take the accountability course for a “small fee.” Those who opt out of the course and later incur a fifth violation will then have 10 days to enroll or else have their car impounded or booted.

While only 1% of drivers actually manage to rack up five offenses in the span of a year, that still works out to about 26,000 dangerously driven vehicles on New York streets.

Dorothy Bruns, the driver who killed two children in Park Slope, had eight violations in the last two years on her record. She also previously had her license suspended and was involved in a hit and run. Bruns was later arrested and faces up to 15 years in jail.

  1. NYC would expand the Driver Accountability Program currently available from the Center for Court Innovation in Red Hook and Staten Island. The course is a group intervention program for drivers who plead guilty in arrests for a variety of driving offenses.
  2. The city would conduct an annual study on dangerous driving, which would be used to recommend further efforts to reduce dangerous driving. Vision Zero already collects data on the design and role of streets and intersections in traffic crashes, but it doesn’t specifically focus on reckless drivers.

To date, the “Reckless Driver Accountability Act” has the support of 12 City Council members, along with the endorsement of many local leaders in traffic and street safety. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is also on board. Mayor de Blasio has voiced support of state legislation to create a stricter system of medical reporting for impaired drivers, along with an increase in fines for traffic violations. De Blasio also revealed a redesign of 9th Street in Park Slope by the NYC Department of Transportation designed to increase safety and reduce future tragedies.

Under the current law, a driver can be charged with reckless driving if he/she is found to be acting in a way that is unreasonable and which either presents a serious risk of harm or prohibits use of the roadway by other drivers. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor offense and those who are convicted will have a permanent criminal record. There is also the potential for up to 30 days in jail, nearly $400 in fines, and five points on one’s license.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic-related offense in New York, you need the help of a skilled attorney. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic attorneys who can fight to protect your rights. Call 888-203-2619 or email us for a free consultation about your case today.

 

Drunk Driver Crashes in NJ After Fleeing Accident in NY

Port Authority police arrested a Washington resident in Hoboken, NJ on Monday, Sept. 12. Keith A. Cook, 34, of Seattle, WA allegedly fled the scene of a DWI crash in New York only to immediately get into another accident in New Jersey. He is being charged with reckless driving, DWI, eluding, obstruction, and multiple traffic summonses.

Officers responded to the scene of an accident near the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan around 1 a.m. One of the drivers involved in the crash said that another driver, later identified as Cook, fled the accident.

Port Authority officers located Cook and attempted to pull him over, but Cook ignored the officer’s commands and drove away into the tunnel. A Port Authority officer on the Jersey City side of the tunnel also tried to stop Cook, but the suspect sped away again.

However, only five minutes after fleeing authorities, Cook crashed again, this time into a storefront in Hoboken. Officers arrested him at the scene.

A reckless driving conviction is far more serious than most moving violations. It is a misdemeanor that will result in a permanent criminal record. A conviction can also carry more than $300 in fines and up to 30 days in prison for a first offense.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, reckless driving, or for any other criminal offense in New York or New Jersey, contact an attorney for help. The criminal defense attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm have many years of experience helping people in similar situations. Email the Rosenblum Law Firm or call 888-979-7551 today for a free consultation about your case.

Driver That Killed 6 on LIE May Have Been Going 100mph

Police are investigating the role that speed played in a crash that killed six people on Sunday, August 21. Evidence from the crash scene suggests that the car that lost control may have been traveling as fast as 100mph.

Police say 26-year-old Carmelo Pinales of Hicksville was heading east on the LIE when he lost control of his Subaru Outback. The vehicle crossed the median and went airborne, crashing into a BMW and a Honda in the westbound lanes.

Pinales and his 27-year-old sister, Patricia Pinales, were pronounced dead on the scene. Pinales’ 10-year-old son, Christopher, was taken to the hospital where he died soon after. Patricia’s 3-year-old daughter, Analia Ramirez, and one other adult passenger were also injured.

The driver of the BMW, Helen Adelson, 71, and her husband, 81-year-old Isidore Adelson, were taken to a hospital, where they both succumbed to their injuries. The crash also took the life of the driver of the Honda, 29-year-old Scott Martella, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the communications director for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. His fiancé, 29-year-old Shelbi Thurau, was injured.

A snapchat video taken by Patricia 15 minutes before the crash shows that Pinales was not driving recklessly, according to family members. They say the rain as well as roadwork are more likely to blame.

Police disagree and are still investigating. Emergency responders said the temporary construction bumps may have contributed to Pinales losing control.

If you or a loved one has caused an accident in which reckless driving or speeding is a factor, it is advisable that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the consequences. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced in handling reckless driving charges, speeding tickets, and many other driving-related offenses in New York. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

Reckless Driver That Killed Elderly Couple Arrested

A Morrisonville, NY man has been arrested for reckless driving and second-degree reckless endangerment, among other charges. The charges stem from an accident in January that killed an elderly couple.

Jesse A. Baker of Morrisonville was driving on State Route 190 in Altona on Jan 8, 2016 when he attempted to pass another vehicle. His 2013 Chevrolet box truck struck a 2016 Subaru Forester head-on. Baker was injured in the wreck and the accident killed the driver of the other vehicle, 74-year-old Audrey Lohse, and her husband Richard, 77. The couple had homes in Burke, NY and in New Jersey.

An extensive investigation by the Clinton County DA’s office found that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the wreck. Baker was arrested on July 19 and charged with the misdemeanor crimes of second-degree reckless endangerment and reckless driving, as well as failure to keep right on a two-lane road, unsafe passing on the left, and imprudent speed.

A reckless driving charge can carry serious consequences, including up to 30 days in jail and a $400 fine for a first offence, as well as 5 points on your licence. Drivers who are convicted of reckless driving will end up with a permanent criminal record and will likely see their insurance rates skyrocket.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Driver Drags Cop While Trying to Escape Traffic Stop

police in rear view mirrorA Cobleskill, NY man as been arrested after dragging a police officer while trying to flee from a traffic stop on Monday, July 18. The officer was not injured.

Police say Officer Steve Winegard stopped Brice Cummings, 21, for driving without his headlights on. Cummings refused to give his personal information to the officer, who then attempted to demonstrate that the headlights were not in use. It was at that point, police say, that Cummings attempted to escape. Winegard tried to stop him, but Cummings drove off with the officer clinging to the window. Winegard was dragged about 40 yards before falling to the ground.

Other officers were able to stop Cummings after he lost control of his vehicle and struck a wall. Police charged Cummings with reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, reckless endangerment, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, two counts of speeding, and numerous other violations.

A charge of reckless driving or other misdemeanor traffic offense can carry serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been arrested for such charges, you need the help of a skilled attorney. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Manslaughter Indictment for Man Who Killed Pedestrian

3293465641_b6c5081e87_zA grand jury at Brooklyn Criminal Court voted to charge Marlon Sewell, 39, with second-degree manslaughter on June 27. Sewell had been driving without a license on December 6, 2015, when he jumped the sidewalk and killed 31-year-old Victoria Nicodemus and injured two others.

Sewell was driving with a suspended license at the time. He told police that he had swerved to avoid an oncoming car and then swerved again to avoid a bus, jumping the curb and hitting three pedestrians. He also claimed a carbon monoxide leak in his car had made him lightheaded. Police say he was driving the 25-mph limit at the time.

Police originally charged Sewell with driving without a license or insurance, a misdemeanor charge, but prosecutors repeatedly put off his trial so they could continue their investigation. In January a judge rejected a request to cancel Sewell’s license, saying he had not been driving recklessly.

Sewell’s license had been revoked at the time for failure to pay child support, rather than for driving-related infractions. However, prosecutors allege he had a checkered driving history, including an arrest in March 2015 for driving without a license and multiple instances of speeding through school zones.

According to Gothamist, Nicodemus’s family is pushing for new legislation that would make it a felony to injure or kill someone while driving with a suspended or revoked license. The state senate passed such a bill in May, but it is still awaiting a vote in the assembly.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other serious traffic-related offense in New York, you may need a skilled attorney to help fight the consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Facebook Comment Leads to Reckless Driving Arrest

Be careful what you say on social media! Bronx resident Darren Anderson, 23, is facing reckless driving charges after commenting on a Facebook video that reportedly showed his car going more than 100 mph on the Long Island Expressway.

Anderson was arrested last month after he posted a comment asking someone to “Take [the video] down before I get in trouble.” The video caught the eye of police officials and the comment helped them identify Anderson. His car, a BMW M3, was impounded by police.

The video shows the BMW cutting through traffic on the LIE in Woodbury. It was recorded on the dash cam of a second car that was following closely behind. Both vehicles can be seen weaving wildly around other cars. No one was hurt in the incident, but the drivers could face up to a year in prison.

“It’s outright insanity,” acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas C. Krumpter told NBC 4 New York. “He’s not a professional driver. He makes a mistake and people are going to die.”

Anderson was issued a desk appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in court on July 6. Police are searching for the second driver.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Movie-Like Car Chase Ends with Reckless Driving Charge

Earlier this week, police arrested a driver following a wild chase that some witnesses said looked like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. According to police reports, 35-year-old John Maldonado failed to abide by a “no-turn” sign and then fled north on Broadway when officers tried to stop him. He eventually turned the wrong way down Henshaw Street, a one-way street. Several residents caught video of the driver trying to escape down Henshaw, where he crashed into several parked cars, reversed into a police vehicle, and even rammed a cab three times. One car drove up the sidewalk to avoid a collision.

“We thought it was a movie,” said one man who filmed the rampage. “A straight-up movie scene.”

Police caught up with Maldonado at Riverside Drive and 177th Street just after 8 p.m. on Monday. He faces a number of charges, including reckless driving, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, and leaving the scene of an accident. He has been arrested 28 times before, mostly on drug charges, according to police.

The passenger inside the vehicle, 27-year-old Amber Faison, was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 1-888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Driver Charged for Hitting Pedestrian in Botanical Garden

Source: Wikimedia
Source: Wikimedia

The truck driver responsible for killing a pedestrian in the New York Botanical Garden last month has been charged with reckless driving and with violating New York’s Right of Way Law.

On April 27th, 29-year-old Heather Lough was hit by a box truck while walking her bicycle across Southern Boulevard toward the New York Botanical Garden’s Mosholu Gate. Lough, who had the right of way to cross and was wearing a helmet at the time, was struck by the front bumper of the passenger side of the vehicle. She was taken to Jacobi Hospital where she died from head and body injuries.

A source who works at the Botanical Garden stated that the intersection is especially dangerous for pedestrians because drivers regularly speed through the light. Another anonymous source alleged that the operator of the truck, 45-year-old Robert Owens, was on his cell phone at the time of the collision.

Police charged Owens with reckless driving and violating New York’s Right of Way Law, both misdemeanors that carry heavy penalties. New York officials expressed their hope that prosecuting Owens will send a message to other drivers that reckless driving in New York City will not be tolerated.

Reckless driving is a criminal offense in New York and is punished far more harshly than a traffic violation. A person convicted of reckless driving can expect up to 30 days in jail, a $300 fine plus a $93 surcharge, five points added to his or her license, increased insurance rates, a permanent criminal record, and the possibility of a license revocation. The penalties are increased for second and third offenses.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving or any other traffic related offense in New York, it is advisable that you retain a skilled attorney to help fight the serious consequences you may face. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic attorney who will work for you to make sure your legal rights are protected. Call 1-888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm for a free consultation about your case today.

Taxi & Limo Commission Fails to Implement Cooper’s Law

Hybrid taxis in Manhattan
Hybrid taxis in Manhattan

Cooper’s Law requires the Taxi & Limo Commission (TLC) to revoke the licenses of reckless taxi and limo drivers. Named for Cooper Stock, a 9-year-old boy who was run down in uptown Manhattan in early 2014, the law focuses on drivers who kill or seriously injure bicyclists or pedestrians.

Sixteen people have been killed by New York City taxi drivers since the law was instituted. In 2015, TLC-licensed vehicles were involved in over 40,000 crashes in NYC, including 35 incidents that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. Nevertheless, the TLC has not enforced the statute. Only 12 drivers had their licenses temporarily suspended and there were no permanent license revocations. There have been almost no legal consequences as well as the NYPD has only charged two drivers, one for manslaughter and one for violations of the Right of Way law.

A reckless driving charge can have serious consequences for all New Yorkers, not just taxi or limo drivers. If you have received a summons for reckless driving in New York, contact the Rosenblum Law Firm for assistance with your defense. E-mail or call us today at 888-815-3649 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.