Councilman says plows should be considered emergency vehicles
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Spring is here, but Councilman Mark Treyger’s mind is still on the brutal winter New Yorkers have just gone through.
Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) expressed confidence that a bill he introduced last week in the City Council to require snow plows – city owned and private – to be equipped with safety features like flashing lights will be passed by the council.
“It’s just common sense,” Treyger told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Treyger said he introduced the legislation because there were two tragedies involving snow plows hitting pedestrians in Brooklyn and felt that something should be done to prevent these types of accidents in the future. In one case, Min Lin, a pregnant Sunset Park woman, was hit by a snow plow that was clearing snow from the parking lot of a Sunset Park supermarket. “A private plow backed right into her. She didn’t even see it coming,” Treyger said.
The Bensonhurst Bean reported that the two fatal accidents took place within two weeks of each other. On Feb. 3, Stanislav Chernyshov, a 73-year-old man, was struck and killed by a snow plow in Brighton Beach. Lin was killed on Feb. 13.
Putting flashing lights on snow plows would give a pedestrian more a chance to see the plow coming, Treyger said. “You have to alert people to give them time to react,” he said.
The New York Daily News, which broke the story on Treyger’s snow plow safety effort, reported that the freshman councilman also wants snow plows to be equipped with devices that would emit a loud sound, such as the beeping noise trucks make when they are backing up.
Treyger said it makes sense for the city to treat snow plows the same as other emergency vehicles like ambulances. “Snow plows are normally deployed during emergencies; therefore they should be treated like emergency vehicles,” he said.
There is a precedent for such legislation, according to Treyger. “The state of Ohio is requiring plows to be equipped with green flashing lights,” he said.
Treyger’s bill was officially introduced in the council on March 26. It will be submitted to the Sanitation Committee for consideration. That committee has jurisdiction because the Sanitation Department oversees the snow plows that clear city streets of snow.