NYS Assembly Committee on Transportation Chairman David Gantt (D, Rochester) refuses to discuss several critical pieces of legislation that will save lives, serve justice and provide some level of peace to grieving family members. There are numerous bills being stalled, three we will discuss here.
One of these bills includes Creto-Kade's law (S1670/A6562), which passed the Senate but can't even get passed the front door in the Assembly because of Gantt. Creto-Kade's law was named after David Creto Sherry and Kade O'Brien, who, during separate crashes, were killed when a driver made an illegal turn directly in the path of their motorcycles (failing to yield right-of-way).
Creto-Kade's law will hold drivers accountable for blatantly committing moving violations that endanger motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists due to reckless driving, by ensuring misdemeanor charges against any driver who disobeys traffic law and causes serious bodily injury or death to another person, while carrying a punishment of 30 days in jail and/or a minimum fine of $300. Under existing state law, there is no serious penalty for committing a moving violation that results in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, unless the violation is considered Vehicular Manslaughter or falls under a separate offense, such as driving under the influence or driving with a revoked/suspended license.
“He has not returned any of my telephone calls. I’ve sent him numerous emails. I sent him a letter from me. All of the above has been ignored.” - Ed O"Brien, Kade's dad, told a journalist a few days ago - read and watch the video by clicking here.
Seth Collier was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was eventually sentenced to the maximum: 2-6 years. Seth's Law (S882A) seeks higher penalties for leaving the scene of an accident without reporting. Had the driver stayed at the scene and reported, the penalties would have been higher. Current law incentivizes drivers under the influence to flee. Penalties should not be less severe for a driver who injures others and leaves the scene of the accident, and the law should provide a disincen tive for such behavior.
Read details on Seth's Law here.
Another David Gantt block is Angelica's Law, named after 14-year old Angelica Nappi, killed by a driver running a red light - the driver had multiple license suspensions. David Gantt refuses to let this bill past the front door of the Assembly simply because he doesn't like it. Then again, it's not like David Gantt is standing at the front door- he has the lowest attendance record in Albany. The state Senate has passed the bill multiple times. Under this legislation a person may be prosecuted for aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree when have five or more suspensions for failure to answer, appear, or pay a fine. A person may be prosecuted for aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree when such person has two or more suspensions for failure to answer, appear, or pay a fine. This decreases will take drivers with suspended licenses off the road.
Read more and watch the video of David Gantt refusing to discuss Angelica's Law here.
So what will it take for David Gantt to open discussions on these and other bills? According to Democrat and Chronicle columnist Dave Andreatta who has been agitating Gantt for years by mowing Gantt's lawn amongst other rather spectacularly irritating antics, nothing will so Speaker of the Assembly Carl E. Heastie should move to remove.