Kavanagh and Squadron Usher Hayley and Diego’s Law Into Effect

Assm. Brian Kavanagh and Sen. Daniel Squadron explain Hayley and Diego's Law, which takes effect today. Photo: Noah Kazis.
Brian Kavanagh and Daniel Squadron explain Hayley and Diego's Law, which takes effect today. Photo: Noah Kazis

“Careless driving is unacceptable.” That’s the message that State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh delivered today as they announced that Hayley and Diego’s Law, which they sponsored and ushered through the legislature, is now in effect.

“You can suffer serious consequences,” Kavanagh warned drivers. “That has not been true up to today.”

“Careless driving is not just something to fix next time,” said Squadron.

Hayley Ng and Diego Martinez, for whom this law is named, were killed when a van driver carelessly left his vehicle idling in gear and unattended; the van sped backwards into the two preschoolers, who were walking on a Chinatown sidewalk with their classmates.

“When people are injured and people lose their lives,” said Kavanagh, “people want a sense of justice and that is not provided by a speeding ticket.” By filling the gap between tickets and felony charges like criminally negligent homicide, said Kavanagh, Hayley and Diego’s Law will allow prosecutors to give victims and their families that sense of justice.

The two legislators said they have more they would like to accomplish for pedestrian and cyclist safety. After deadpanning that “New York State law is now perfect. It’s the platonic ideal,” Squadron said that he was looking into whether legislation could help improve the enforcement of the laws already on the books. He cited Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s recent study showing that the city’s bike lanes are frequently illegally obstructed to illustrate the need for better enforcement.