New report details the increase in the use of vehicles to carry out attacks
New York, NY — Senators Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) and David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) following the Halloween terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday announced new legislation to prevent further vehicular style attacks. The new proposal, the Vehicle Ramming Prevention Act, consists of four proposals to limit the potential for future attacks of this style.
“New Yorkers were fearless in the face of terror, but they also know that we must always remain vigilant and find ways to safeguard the public against terrorists. This legislation will help commercial and truck rental companies report suspicious behavior, fortify their safety plans and know what to look out for if a person strays from that plan. We also want to invest in infrastructure protections for New York City, and beyond, to keep our citizens safe,” said Senator Klein.
“Protecting New Yorkers requires the vigilance of our first responders, our communities, and all of us as policy makers. The measures we advance today uphold our responsibility to remain vigilant and ensure those plotting to do us harm fail,” said Senator Hamilton.
“New York must be proactive to safeguard the lives of our residents from terrorist acts,” said Senator Carlucci
"My prayers are with the families of victims of the Lower Manhattan terror attack. As legislators, we must work with other parts of government to do everything in our power to prevent future terror attacks like this from happening in our City," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "I thank the brave men and women of the NYPD and all the federal law enforcement agencies involved for keeping us safe. This prevention act has the potential to make a big difference in stunting future attacks in which vehicles are used as weapons."
Under the Vehicle Ramming Prevention Act, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services would create a hotline for rental companies to report suspicious rental activity. It would also require the division to create a countermeasure guidance document so that employees of rental companies are aware of questions and activity that could be reason for concern. The guidelines would be required to be posted in an area frequently visited by employees.
The proposal also requires rental companies and commercial truck companies to develop vehicle ramming prevention plans, based off the countermeasures developed by the TSA and file them with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
Finally, the Independent Democratic Conference will advocate for funding in the budget to be made available for cities to develop and build infrastructure around pedestrian areas that may be vulnerable to vehicle-ramming attacks.
The report found a stark increase in the number of attacks using a vehicle as a weapon since 2013. Between 2014 and April 2017 terrorists have carried out 17 known vehicle ramming attacks worldwide, resulting in 173 fatalities and 667 injuries.