Westchester County Legislators

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Legislators Perez and Tubiolo Propose New Law to Combat Drag Racing

Named the “Michael Nolan Law” honoring Yonkers man killed by gunfire related to drag race.

Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers and Legislator David Tubiolo (R) Yonkers, Mount Vernon are joint-sponsors on bipartisan legislation, the Michael Nolan Law which will provide law enforcement with better tools to charge, prosecute and punish individuals who participate in the deadly activity of drag racing on our community’s streets.

The Michael Nolan law will seek increase penalties for drag racers.  Some new penalties being contemplated in drafting the legislation include, higher fines, jail time, license -revocation and vehicle seizure.  The new law will also try to broaden the evidentiary requirements to bring a charge of drag racing.  As currently defined in the New York State penal law, it is very difficult for police and prosecutors to prove that individuals are engaged in a speed contest as opposed to just two cars driving side by side is speeding.

The legislation was taken up jointly by the Board of Legislators (BOL) Public Safety Committee and Legislation Committee on Monday.   At the Committee meeting, Legislators heard directly from James Nolan Jr., brother of Michael Nolan, a Yonkers man who as an innocent bystander in a fast food parking lot, was killed by gunfire which resulted from a drag racing dispute days after the drag race took place.  Michael Nolan’s parents Donna and Jimmy were also present at the committee meeting.

Following the meeting, James Nolan Jr. said, “The Michael Nolan Law is an important law that will be passed to help save lives, drag racing needs to be shut down in our communities and the people that are involved and responsible need to be stopped. The law will help save lives and this is why I brought it personally to The Westchester County Legislators. The legislators and myself will make sure that this law goes into act to stop this unlawful act and that people pay for these crimes!”

Legislator David Tubiolo, the co-sponsor of the law said   "Our top priority is the safety of our residents, this law will help prevent future drag races from occurring, simultaneously penalizing the participants and organizers. The perils of Drag Racing don't stop in cars, they're continued through betting, competing, organizing and its overall culture.  As the original Sponsor of this law, we've dedicated in honor and memory of Michael Nolan, whose life was taken from the effects of Drag Racing culture" said Legislator David Tubiolo

Legislator Virginia Perez said the Nolan’s story touched her deeply as the sister of a man who was also senselessly killed by gun violence.  “As families who have been torn apart by gun violence we obviously can’t bring our loved ones back but we can stand up to a culture that too often involves high stakes wagering, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars, dangerous behavior that disregards the safety of participants, bystanders and the public and in some cases like Michael Nolan’s, deadly violence.”  Perez added, “We need to treat these events which are promoted through social media like the organized criminal enterprises which they are.  We must hold the promoters, racers and anyone else who takes part in these races accountable.”

PICTURED ABOVE: L-R, Legislator Virginia Perez, James Nolan Jr, Donna Nolan, Jimmy Nolan, Legislator David Tubiolo following Monday’s Committee Meeting

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