North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco joined with local, state and federal officials to call for stricter regulation of commuter buses at a press conference Tuesday morning. Held at the spot where eight month old North Bergen resident Angelie Paredes was killed by an out of control jitney bus last week, the event featured several local leaders demanding harsher penalties, stricter regulation and more accountability for the commuter buses and vans. Sacco moderated the discussion and was joined by U.S. Representative Albio Sires, Assembly members Vincent Prieto, Angelica Jimenez and Charles Mainor, West New York Mayor Felix Roque and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, along with other local elected officials.
“When Angelie’s parents were asked if they needed any help, their answer was, ‘Just help us stop the problem with the vans and buses.’ That was their answer,” said Sacco. “It was a very gracious, heartfelt answer. They weren’t talking about their own needs — they were talking about the overall safety of everybody else’s child. That gives you an idea what type of people that they are and that is why we are here today, to do something to improve this dangerous situation.”
Sacco is working with his legislative colleagues and local leaders on legislation that would address the jitney problem in several different ways in an effort to improve safety for passengers and pedestrians. He is also collaborating with Congressman Sires and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez on a federal solution, because of the unique legal challenges in regulating the jitneys due to the Interstate Commerce Clause.