Bills that would boost traffic safety -- from cracking down on reckless drivers to lowering the threshold for a DWI -- are among the measures state lawmakers and traffic safety advocates are seeking in the closing days of the legislative session.
The measures would address traffic safety issues both in New York City and across the state. Altogether, the package includes eight bills meant to reduce the number of car crashes in New York.
"We know what changes we need to implement to ensure that no parent, senior, or person of any age lives in fear of crossing the street or riding a bike," said Sen. Andrew Gounardes. "The Crash Victims Right and Safety Act is a strong legislative package that will make the changes necessary to keeping our streets safe for everyone."
The bills include lowering the threshold for DWIs in New York from 0.08 blood alcohol content to 0.05. Another bill would make it easier to address repeat reckless drivers. Lawmakers have also proposed safety for bicyclists by requiring drivers give them at least 3 feet of space.
There is also a push to boost safety education during pre-licensing and create a crash victims "bill of rights." In New York City, there are provisions that would lower speed limits and create a system of continuously operating speed cameras.
Advocates over the next several days will hold rallies around the state to get the bills on the end-of-session agenda in Albany.
“From New York City to Niagara Falls, too many New Yorkers die each year in traffic violence. We need our state legislature to save lives and prevent more families from the anguish of burying a child, spouse or parent," said Amy Cohen, a safety advocate who lost her 12-year-old son to a reckless driver and later co-founded Famiies for Safe Streets. "We hope that our statewide tour will show the urgency for passing the entire Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act this year."