Police Commissioner Dermot Shea commended a city law intended to put the brakes on dangerous drivers — like the hit-and-run motorist who allegedly killed a 3-month-old Brooklyn girl — but said more follow-through is needed to ensure they stay off the road.
The top cop made the comments on NY1 Tuesday morning, days after wrong-way driver Tyrik Mott, 28, allegedly blew through a red light in Clinton Hill and struck another car, which plowed into a 33-year-old mother who was pushing little Appollin Mong-Guillemin in a stroller on the sidewalk.
Apollin was killed, her mother was critically injured, and another pedestrian, a 36-year-old man, was listed in stable condition, cops said.
“As a parent, I think we all sympathize, it’s the worst possible news anyone could ever receive,” Shea said. “It’s just horrific.”
Prior to the crash, Mott’s car had racked up 160 traffic violations, including more than 90 for speeding in city school zones. Thirty-five violations were from this year alone.
“When I looked at the whole situation, when you’re talking about the car and the individual….people are talking about lowering the speed limit,” he added. “You could lower the speed limit to one mile an hour. This person is not going to follow the laws. It’s just a terrible situation….He obviously should not be on the street.”
The Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Law, was signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in February 2020 and went into effect earlier this year, forces reckless drivers to attend a safe-driving class and would potentially impound their cars after repeat offenses.
“I commend the Council for passing those laws,” Shea said. “But then what happens in terms of — you know, these are questions that have to be asked: was there follow up? Did he attend the class that he’s supposed to attend? What happens when you don’t attend that class? How many people have been subject to issues like that?”
But the safe-driving classes had in fact never been set up — and de Blasio said on Monday that they “are beginning now.”
Still, Hizzoner called the law “a very powerful tool.”
“I think when people start to see that you could lose your vehicle, period, if you are reckless, it’s going to make a very big impact,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, he pointed the finger at Albany, saying state laws “are still too lax when it comes to reckless drivers and there’s a chance to fix that now.”
“We have been fighting this scourge without the support we need from Albany,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of people in Albany that care. It’s time for them to step up and give us laws that actually help protect the lives of our kids, our seniors, that helps us take Vision Zero to the next level.”