New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) announced today that the state Senate has passed legislation that would significantly increase criminal penalties for illegal street speed racing and drag racing statewide. The bill, known as “Michelle and Jordan’s Law”, passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.
Passage by the Senate comes following the tragic death, last month, of five-year-old Jordan McLean of Queens. McLean was thrown from his aunt’s SUV and killed after the vehicle was struck by drag racers. Jordan and his aunt were driving on 109th Avenue in Queens—a notorious drag racing hot spot—when the tragic accident occurred. Last July, 17-year-old Michelle Arout, of Staten Island, was killed while the driver of her car was racing another teen driver.
“We need to do everything we can to keep our streets safe from people who would use them for street racing,” Padavan said. “The accident in our community last month was a tragic and senseless loss of a young life and such crimes must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This bill specifically addresses the crime of street racing in order to stop people from putting innocent lives at risk.”
The legislation (S.8020A), co-sponsored by Senator Padavan, amends state Penal Law to include the crimes of speed contest and races. Any individual convicted of this new crime would face a Class A misdemeanor, punishable up to 30 days in prison and fines between $300 and $525. Repeat offenders would face a Class E felony punishable up to one year in prison or a fine between $525 to $725.
“With the Senate passage of this legislation today we are sending a clear message that reckless and dangerous street racing will face serious criminal penalties. I urge the Assembly to follow the lead of the Senate and to pass this important legislation immediately and help protect our roads from street and drag racing,” Padavan said.