Klein Proposes New Protections for Pedestrians

In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack that occurred recently in Lower Manhattan, Senator Jeff Klein is proposing new legislation that will help  prevent tragedies.

The proposal, called the Vehicle Ramming Prevention Act, is made up of four component parts that aim to stop those wishing to use vehicles as lethal weapons in their tracks. By adding a level of oversight for car and truck rental companies, public safety officials will have a better chance of preventing travesties like the one that saw the senseless murder of eight New Yorkers by an individual who rented a Home Depot truck.

A toll-free hotline administered by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency services will be created to report suspicious activity and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will also be required to create a countermeasure guidance document to educate employees of these rental companies as to what behavior should be reported.

The proposal also requires rental companies and commercial truck companies to develop vehicle ramming prevention plans, based off the countermeasures developed by the TSA and file them with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

An alarming report released by Senator Klein, entitled Vehicle Ramming Prevention, shows a dramatic spike in cases where vehicles are used to inflict harm in public spaces since 2013. Between 2014 and April 2017 terrorists have carried out 17 known vehicle ramming attacks worldwide,  resulting in 173 fatalities and 667 injuries. Attacks of this nature have risen since a 2010 publication by al-Qaeda encouraged their use, followed by additional promotion in a 2014 video produced by ISIS. Following the attack on October 31, the NYPD concluded that the incident was in line with the directions that have been promoted by terrorist organizations.

Considering this trend, Senator Klein is pledging to fight for additional funding in next year’s budget to ensure cities throughout New York State are able to develop and build infrastructure around pedestrian areas that may be vulnerable to vehicle-ramming attacks.

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