WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new law in New Jersey aims to crack down on distracted driving and prevent another tragedy like the one that took the life of a baby girl in her stroller.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, lawmakers announced the law, which targets commuter buses, at a news conference Thursday in North Bergen. They were joined by the parents of Angelie Paredes, an 8-month-old girl who was killed in July in what police have called a distracted-driving incident.
Angelie died after a commuter van veered off the road and slammed into a light pole that fell on the stroller being pushed by her mother. The driver, Idowu Daramola, was allegedly using a cellphone at the time of the crash.
The new law, dubbed “Angelie’s Law,” increases penalties against commuter vans and forces them to display a passenger bill of rights. It also requires them to place a phone number inside and outside the vehicle that people can call if they see them being driven erratically.
Commuter van companies have a year to comply with the new regulations.
“To the family, I offer my deepest sympathy and also my wish that what happened to them will not have to happen to another family,” said Assemblywoman Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City).
“It’s so sad that it took this — the death of a young, young girl — to make people wake up to see how bad the situation had become,” added state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-North Bergen).
Angelie’s parents did not address reporters Thursday, but a family friend spoke on their behalf.
“The only thing they asked the senator when he approached them at the wake was, ‘Please don’t let any other family go through this,'” said Julio Marenco.
West New York Mayor Felix Roque says he wants to eventually build a monument in Angelie’s memory on Boulevard East, where the baby was killed.
Daramola was charged with reckless driving, using a cellphone while driving and death by auto.
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