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Queens Tribune: “Van Bramer Wants Heavier Hit And Run Penalties”

Borough already plagued by traffic deaths, three fatal hit and runs have inspired legislative action.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said he would champion legislation that would double penalties for hit and run drivers, after three pedestrians – 19-year old Luis Bravo, 20-year-old Karen Pheras and 64-year-old Kumar Ragunath – were killed in his district within 18 months.

Van Bramer (center) speaking after the death of Kumar Ragunath.

The legislation specifies civil penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without reporting it, with fines of up to $5,000 for drivers who run from a collision that results in death. There is currently no civil penalty in New York City for leaving the scene of a collision without reporting.

– See more at: http://queenstribune.com/van-bramer-wants-heavier-hit-and-run-penalties/#sthash.dkBmoU6l.dpuf

Borough already plagued by traffic deaths, three fatal hit and runs have inspired legislative action.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said he would champion legislation that would double penalties for hit and run drivers, after three pedestrians – 19-year old Luis Bravo, 20-year-old Karen Pheras and 64-year-old Kumar Ragunath – were killed in his district within 18 months.

Van Bramer (center) speaking after the death of Kumar Ragunath.

The legislation specifies civil penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without reporting it, with fines of up to $5,000 for drivers who run from a collision that results in death. There is currently no civil penalty in New York City for leaving the scene of a collision without reporting.

– See more at: http://queenstribune.com/van-bramer-wants-heavier-hit-and-run-penalties/#sthash.dkBmoU6l.dpuf

Borough already plagued by traffic deaths, three fatal hit and runs have inspired legislative action.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said he would champion legislation that would double penalties for hit and run drivers, after three pedestrians – 19-year old Luis Bravo, 20-year-old Karen Pheras and 64-year-old Kumar Ragunath – were killed in his district within 18 months.

Van Bramer (center) speaking after the death of Kumar Ragunath.

The legislation specifies civil penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without reporting it, with fines of up to $5,000 for drivers who run from a collision that results in death. There is currently no civil penalty in New York City for leaving the scene of a collision without reporting.

– See more at: http://queenstribune.com/van-bramer-wants-heavier-hit-and-run-penalties/#sthash.dkBmoU6l.dpuf

Vaccaro and White client Martha Puruncajas and Steve Vaccaro speak out in support of Councilmember Van Bramer’s legislation to stiffen hit and run penalties.

In a Borough already plagued by traffic deaths, three fatal hit and runs have inspired legislative action.

Councilman jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said he would champion legislation that would double penalties for hit and run drivers, after three pedestrians–19 year old Luis Bravo, 20 year-old Karen Pheras and 64 year-old Kumar Ragunath–were killed within his district within 18 months.

“This legislation…will not return my child, but will help make penalties stronger for those people who don’t think before running from their responsibilities,” Bravo’s mother Martha Puruncajas said in a statement released last week.

Attorney Steve Vaccaro of Vaccaro and White, legal advocates for crash victims and leaders in the movement against new York City traffic violence, called this legislation a “welcome step” while also noting some factors that cause and complicate hit and runs.

For Vaccaro, effectively deterring hit and runs would require hit and run penalties to exceed those of drunk driving or driving without a license, so that drivers who cause collisions under those circumstances are discouraged from fleeing.  this bill approaches that goal by setting substantial civil penalties, he said.

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