You should know that while many New Yorkers are preparing for joyful family Christmas celebrations, a mother in Queens is grieving the loss of her 8-year old son, Noshat Nahian, who, according to the New York Post’s Georgett Robets: “was caught under the rear wheels of the big rig while happily racing to school with his 11-year-old sister, Nishat.”
Before writing another word here, I would like to ask all of my readers to please keep Noshat’s mother Nargish Begum, in your thoughts and in your prayers. I cannot imagine the pain she is experiencing, nor can I imagine the pain of his 11-year old sister who witnessed her brother’s getting side-swiped by a truck and “cried out for her in his final moments.” On behalf of my family, my fellow ministers in the New York Hispanic Clergy Organizations, and my constituents, I send my heartfelt condolences to Nargish Begum and to her family. Noshat’s mother is demanding justice for her son’s death, and I support her.
You should know that after learning about Noshat’s death, I felt extremely outraged, because this tragedy might have been avoided if a simple piece of legislation I submitted in the New York State Senate requiring the use of rear wheel guards on certain vehicles would have been passed and signed into law.
Former NYC Commissioner Sam Schwatz, best known Gridlock Sam, offered his strong support for my bill SS.4326, the Amar Diarrassouba Life-Saving Truck Guard Law. This legislation was created in the wake of the tragic loss of 6-year-old Amar Diarrassouba, who was fatally struck and killed by a truck on February 28, 2013 at the intersection of 117th Street and 1st Avenue in East Harlem, while walking to school with his older brother. What happened in Queens on Friday is exactlywhat happened to Amar Diarrassouba in March.
There are estimates that no less than 10-12 ten children die each year in New York City as a result of these types of accidents because rear wheel guards are not mandatory. Most of the children who are killed by these truck accidents are minorities, just like Noshat and Amar.
You should know that we need to override efforts by lobbyists who oppose this particular safety measure by claiming that these truck guards will cost jobs in New York. I can see nothing further from the truth. Why not create a new industry for truck guards? Would that hurt our economy? I implore my colleagues in government to avoid lobbyists and listen to their constituents.
For those who may want to accuse me of trying to monopolize on someone’s tragedy, please refocus your energy on where it belongs and get this safety measure passed.
My dear reader, I said it before and I will say it again: While no piece of legislation can prevent every tragedy, it is our duty as legislators to do whatever we can to make our communities safe and protect all lives.
Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford another tragedy. Our children are our treasures and they need to be protected. The Amar Diarrassouba Life-Saving Truck Guard Law needs to be passed and signed into law.
I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.