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Clark renews push to double speeding fines

Assemblywoman Barbara Clark wants speeding fines raised in hopes of prevent auto fatalities.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Following the death of one of her constituents in a motor vehicle accident, state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village) is renewing her push to raise the fines for speeding in residential neighborhoods.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, 24-year-old Paulina Rodriguez was killed when she ran through a stop sign on 227th Street in Cambria Heights and her 2011 Hyundai was struck by an oncoming vehicle, according to police.

In May, Clark had introduced a bill that would double the maximum fines for speeding violations in residential areas. The bill had the support of fellow Assembly members Vivian Cook (D-South Jamaica), Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) and David Weprin (D-Little Neck), though it stalled in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Clark said she introduced the legislation after years of frustrating attempts to curtail speeding with increased police enforcement and the installation of speed humps.

“Not only have I pressed each and every commander of the three police precincts that cover the 33rd Assembly District for increased enforcement, but I have also again and again requested each and every commissioner of the Department of Transportation to install speed reducers at countless locations throughout the district,” Clark said.

“And while these efforts have led to both temporary periods of increased enforcement and the limited installation of speed bumps, an overarching solution has been hampered by institutional constraints,” she continued. “On the one hand, a sustained enforcement program has fallen prey to a police department lacking the personnel to consistently assign officers to it. On the other hand, the widespread installation of speed reducers has been prevented by a Department of Transportation restricted by its own rules and regulations as to where they can be placed.

The assemblywoman urged all those who reached out to her office in response to Rodriguez’s death to contact each member of the state Legislature and encourage them to support her bill, No. A10491.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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