The New York State Working Families Party, an influential backer of Mayor de Blasio and other progressive elected officials, has issued a Memorandum of Support for City Council Bill Int. 663, "An amendment to Vision Zero law Int. No. 238, creating a new subdivision of the law clarifying exemption of City bus operators from right of way codification."
Read the Daily News story here.
The bill was introduced in the Council by Daneek Miller (D-Southeast Queens), a former Bus Driver, and has garnered significant support in the Council. It its Memorandum, the Working Families Party cites the "impossible situation" in which Bus Drivers are placed by the current Vision Zero law, which mandates an arrest for "failure to yield" at an intersection when there is a pedestrian accident. The impossible situation is created because mass transit Bus Operators, alone among public employees, must negotiate dozens of turns each day into busy pedestrian crosswalks where both the bus and the pedestrians have the right of way. When accidents occur, either through inadvertent carelessness on the part of the pedestrian, glare or lines of sight which prevent the Operator from seeing, the Operator is held culpable under Vision Zero even when no recklessness occurs.
The Bill would stop the automatic arrests of Bus Operators after "right of way" accidents, allowing the current MTA accident investigation system to take its course, assigning culpability, if warranted, following the investigation. Click "read more" for the complete text of the Memorandum of Support.