Tag Archives: stop sign

Driver arrested for drug stash following LIC traffic stop

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A simple traffic violation led to serious charges for a driver who was pulled over in Long Island City and caught with an assortment of drugs in his car, police said.

Two plainclothes officers from the 108th Precinct in an unmarked vehicle spotted a Jeep Grand Cherokee blow a stop sign on 38th Street before heading east on 43rd Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities said.

The cops then stopped the driver and as they approached the car smelled a strong odor of marijuana allegedly coming from the vehicle. When they looked inside the car, the officers saw marijuana residue on the floor.

They also discovered that the driver, identified as 29-year-old Omar Carbajal of Woodside, was driving with a suspended license.

According to authorities, Carbajal was arrested and taken to the 108th Precinct stationhouse in Long Island City for processing while police searched his car.

During the search, they uncovered 2 ounces of PCP in the trunk and later discovered a trap in the center console that contained over 5 ounces of cocaine, over 8 ounces of marijuana and 60 amphetamine pills.

Carbajal was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, including with the intent to sell, criminal possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operator, failure to stop at a stop sign and excessive tint, police said.


Stop for school bus or lose license for 60 days: state Senate

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Repeat scofflaws who zoom through school bus stop signs could face stiffer penalties under a bill the state Senate passed last week.

The legislation calls for a 60-day license suspension for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus more than twice within 10 years.

“It’s bad enough that a driver passes a stopped school bus once, but to do it twice is unacceptable,” said upstate Sen. John Bonacic, who penned the law. “This bill is intended to make our roads safer for our school children.”

Committing the crime twice within three years is currently punishable by up to $750 and 180 days in jail. But only the monetary fine — up to $1,000 — increases for each new offense after that.

The new law, in line with citywide “Vision Zero” strides to reduce pedestrian fatalities, would temporarily yank dangerous drivers from the wheel.

“Drivers who are reckless with their lives and the lives of others, particularly with the lives of children, must be punished and taken off the roads,” Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky said.

The bill now awaits movement by the state Assembly’s Transportation Committee.



Long Island City residents put up “People’s Stop Sign” at busy intersection

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer

Long Island City residents mounted a prop “stop sign” on the southwest corner of 5th Street and 47th Avenue, symbolizing their pleas for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install a real sign and highlighting the potential hazards existing along this corridor.

“I feel it is critical that we have an adequate stop sign so people slow down and know who has the right of way,” said area resident Wendy Chan. “I’ve seen too many near misses.”

According to CrashStat, no accidents have occurred at this intersection since the data was first available in 1996.

Chan, who has lived nearby for four years, commented on the neighborhood’s extreme rise in population, noting she has seen a drastic increase in the number of young people and children in the vicinity. According to Chan, the number of kids living in her building has nearly tripled over the past few years. She fears dangerous driving in close proximity of children and pedestrians could lead to perilous consequences.

Chan alleged that many commercial vehicle drivers cruising the neighborhood are unaware of local traffic patterns – an influx she believes to be caused by the recent addition of large retailers such as Duane Reade and Fresh Direct to Long Island City.

According to a representative from the office of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, a new school is being built close to this intersection. A park and several preschools also sit nearby, increasing pedestrian traffic.

“The traffic along 5th Street presents numerous hazards for hundreds of pedestrians and young children who cross this street every single day on their way to work and school,” said Van Bramer. “Without stop signs along this heavily trafficked corridor, the chances of an accident happening are increasing each day that the Department of Transportation does not take action.”

The representative alleged that traffic regulations have not kept up with the extreme development that has taken place in Long Island City over the past few years.

On May 18, Van Bramer joined Long Island City residents to erect the “People’s Stop Sign.” Forty locals stood at the dangerous intersection as the homemade sign was posted, drawing attention to the intersection’s possible peril.

A representative from the DOT alleged that the agency is currently looking at other methods to address traffic concerns at 5th Street and 47th Avenue, as the intersection did not meet federal guidelines for the installation of a stop sign.

According to the spokesperson, last year the city recorded the lowest number of traffic fatalities citywide since the data was first kept, as well as the fewest vehicular deaths ever noted in Queens.

“I hope our efforts to erect our own stop sign are noticed by the Department of Transportation and that they take action on this hazardous issue before it’s too late,” said Van Bramer.