APRIL 20 -- TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen and top leadership visited the swingroom at Mother Clara Hale Depot in Harlem, bringing the community's most prominent local political leaders with him. Congressman Charles Rangel took the opportunity to weigh in against Mayor de Blasio's Vision Zero law which has repeatedly criminalized Bus Operators when involved in accidents occurring through no fault of their own. "Right now, we should be calling the Mayor [about the Vision Zero law] and telling him, don't embarrass yourself," Rangel said. "Anybody can make a mistake, and this is just one big damn mistake... Common sense would indicate, that when [the lawmakers] were thinking about this, the last thing they were thinking about is that a bus driver, doing their duty, would be arrested."
Councilwoman Dickens proudly said that she was number three to sign on an amendment to Vision Zero, Intro 663, that would exempt Bus Operators from the law's provisions. They would still be subject to the rigorous accident investigation procedures now in place and possible discipline by the MTA. State Assemblyman Keith Wright was also outspoken in his support for the Amendment and against the criminalization of Bus Operators under Vision Zero.
In other news today, TWU Local 100 has sued the Mayor and the City of New York over the Vision Zero law, claiming that, when applied to motor vehicle operators, it is "so vague that it does not give a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited." The 24-page lawsuit cites numerous precedents which argue against the reasoning behind the Vision Zero law, including the fact that there is no "mens rea" requirement, meaning a requirement that the operator has any intent to act recklessly or violate a law. You can read the Daily News story about the lawsuit here.