Longtime North Bergen resident Vincent Inga pleaded with Mayor Nick Sacco to help enforce more regulations on jitney buses operated by “undocumented people” that “are playing tic-tac-toe with our lives.”Â
“Now I see the changing times: Bergenline Avenue is finished. With the vans, why can’t we get it regulated,” Inga, a retired veteran of the Korean War, asked Sacco during the public portion of Wednesday’s board of commissioners meeting.
“Why are we letting these … undocumented people come to our shores, if us [sic] went to their shores, and we won World War II … we can’t go into battle with these … undocumented people? Where’s the strength, where’s the forces that we showed in World War II? We just need a little bit.”
Ina also referenced the death of Angelie Paredes, an eight-month old baby from North Bergen who was killed back in July 2013 after a jitney bus hit a lamppost on Boulevard East, which then fell on Paredes.
The tragic incident spurred “Angelie’s Law,” legislation introduced by Sacco, which increased insurance required for jitney buses, as well as a valid commercial driver’s license.
“After that, we left our guard down. What if we left our guard down in World War II? Hitler would’ve been up here, Japan: we won World War II and we can’t win the war on these vans!” Inga exclaimed.
Sacco responded that there is a system in place to report commuter vans that are driving unsafely.
“There should be a phone number on every van now that people call to complain. If it’s not there, we want people to get the license plate and inform us, and our police, that they got, they saw van ‘this license plate’ without the numbers on them. That’s where we are.”