East Elmhurst, NY — State Senator Jose Peralta’s legislation aimed at cracking down on drivers who speed in school zones passed the New York State Senate this afternoon. Under the bill, drivers convicted of two or more speeding violations in school zones during school hours, over an 18-month period will have their licenses suspended for sixty days. This is the first time the bill has moved from the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
Senator Peralta introduced the bill (S.336B) in an effort to protect schoolchildren and surrounding communities, holding reckless and negligent motorists who speed responsible for their actions. In 2015, according to New York City’s Department of Transportation, more than one thousand children under the age of 17 were injured in traffic crashes. Nine children were killed, and more than 200 were injured.
“Motor vehicle crashes is the leading cause of injury-related death for children between the ages of 5 and 14,” said Senator Peralta. “The safety of our children is a top priority for me, and this bill is one more tool to protect them. This is all about saving lives and making our street safer for all of us.”
The school speeding zone legislation will place penalties in line with the current construction and work zone rules, in which drivers lose their licenses for 60 days if convicted of two or more speeding tickets in these areas. “The same way we protect the construction workers on our highways, we must also ensure that we protect the State's schoolchildren.”
In 2013, a study revealed that at least three in every four motorists exceeded the speed limit within a quarter of a mile of 100 schools surveyed by the City’s Department of Transportation.
Senator Peralta hopes the New York State Assembly will now move to pass his proposal; Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) is sponsoring the legislation in that chamber. “I want to thank my friend and colleague Assemblymember Glick for sponsoring the bill. We are working together, along with Transportation Alternatives and other advocates, to protect the more than one million school kids who travel to and from school every day,” said Senator Peralta. “I also want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for passing this commonsense legislation.”