The New York State Senate recently approved legislation (S.3060) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. to better protect disabled children in New York City from being struck by motor vehicles while playing in their neighborhoods.
“It is already possible for the City to place signage in appropriate areas warning motorists that there are deaf or blind individuals living in the vicinity,” said Addabbo. “It only makes sense to expand this type of motorist awareness effort to let drivers know that children with special needs live or gather in certain areas. These children, for example, may dart out into the street or may not respond quickly to horn honking or other warnings.”
Under the bill, the City Department of Transportation (DOT) would be empowered to erect signs saying “Special Needs Children At Play” in areas where young people with physical, mental or developmental disabilities live or gather. This will provide a warning to motorists to be especially careful when driving thorough these areas and to be alert to children who may not immediately be able to get out of the way of fast-moving cars.
“This legislation has great potential to save the lives of children in our City, and prevent tragedy for both victims and drivers alike,” said Addabbo. “There have been reports of children with autism and other disabilities being struck by automobiles, and I believe appropriate signage would help to ensure that these unfortunate incidents are few and far between.”
Having passed the State Senate, the bill has now been sent to the Assembly and is under review by the Assembly Committee on Transportation.