Dangerous Vehicle Petition

Please read and sign the petition below.

The Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act must remove dangerous drivers from our streets.

“A maniacally reckless driver destroyed the monument at Bartel Pritchard Square this morning,” New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said in a tweet, adding that the “epidemic of reckless driving” had “only gotten worse.” Around 4 AM, Sunday morning, March 6, a speeding car driver with a Texas license plate crashed into the World War 1 monument at the center of Bartel Pritchard square on the border of Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, destroying the car and damaging the monument.

That there were no people sitting in or crossing the square (which is actually a traffic circle) to or from Prospect Park or the Nitehawk Theatre, is thanks to the very early hour. At any other time of day, we would be telling a very different story, likely involving serious injury and the loss of life.

That this car was still on the road testifies to the failure of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act to live up to its promise. That law is supposed to be triggered when a car has been caught on camera running red lights more than five times or has been caught speeding in a school zone more than 15 times over a 12-month period. Owners of those cars are supposed to take a 90-minute safe driving course or their cars can be impounded. This vehicle had TWENTY red-light violations and NINETY-TWO school zone speeding tickets in 12 months, and yet it was still on the road, raising serious questions about the effectiveness of the City’s enforcement. There are many unanswered questions, including 1) why enforcement action isn’t triggered more quickly for chronic dangerous drivers, 2) why, when car owners finally are targeted, the City Department of Transportation gives them three or more months to complete the safe-driving course before facing any penalties, 3) why the City doesn’t apparently have any special program to target out-of-state registered cars, such as this Texas car, when statistics show that they are among the worst scofflaws on our streets, and 4) why, when a vehicle is finally identified for impoundment, parking-ticket agents can’t or don’t quickly report its location so that tow trucks can be dispatched promptly.

The Park Slope community will never forget the tragic fatal crash on the corner of 5 Avenue and 9 Street in 2018 where the driver had ignored doctor’s orders not to drive and whose car had multiple camera violations issued against it. That was the impetus for Council Member Lander to propose the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act. It’s time to make the promise of this program a reality. It’s a matter of saving lives. We call on Mayor Eric Adams and the City Department of Transportation to:

1. Mandate serious enforcement of the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act including providing adequate funding to process many more scofflaw drivers through the program, tightening the needlessly lax deadlines for compliance, and creating inter-agency cooperation to identify and impound subject vehicles quickly to put an immediate halt to recklessness.

2. Revisit and strengthen the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Act so that it calls for an immediate consequence for the owners of vehicles that exceed thresholds until the owner takes the required Safe-Driving course. Protecting health and safety is more important than making compromises and accommodations for the convenience of dangerous drivers.

Sign the petition here.