NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York State lawmakers gathered Friday to announce proposals to improve traffic safety.
The announcement came less than a week after a driver killed 1-year-old Josh Lew and 4-year-old Abigail Blumenstein as they were walking with their mothers in Park Slope, one block away from PS 118.
The proposal was unveiled in front of a growing memorial to the children, where members of the community demanded something be done.
They say lawmakers listened.
“No parent should ever lose their kids in this fashion,” State Senator Jose Peralta (D-13th) said.
Officials say they want to add more speed safety cameras in school zones and they want drivers caught speeding in those zones twice within an 18-month period to have their licenses suspended for 60 days. The medical information would empower the DMV to suspend licenses, but the bill assures drivers’ privacy would be protected.
The driver in Monday’s crash had four speeding violations in a school zone within a year, according to Peralta. Many in the community expressed outrage over why the woman was driving in the first place. Sources say she told investigators she had a seizure while behind the wheel and suffered two strokes since.
State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-20th) and Assemblyman Robert Carroll )D-44th say there’s a way to prevent this in the future.
“A mandatory reporting requirement for all healthcare providers if a patient under their care has a chronic illness that could impair them while they’re driving,” Carroll said.
Abigail’s mother, Tony Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles, is 30 weeks pregnant and recovering at the hospital.
A message posted to her Twitter account said in part, “Ruthie is now out of ICU and healing, by all accounts it is a miracle our second child is unharmed.”
Amy Cohen knows what the mothers are going through. Her young son was also hit and killed by a car near the site of Monday’s crash.
“These are preventable crashes. We have the solutions,” she said. “My heart aches today for the families whose children were killed here.”
“When you drive, you’re operating a multi-ton weapon,” Cohen added.
Lawmakers say pushing forward on the legislation unveiled will honor the memory of all those killed and hurt in crashes on city streets.
The driver in Monday’s crash is out of the hospital and not facing any charges as of Friday.