Trespassing cases highlight need for Infrastructure Safety Act



In response to several incidents on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Senate Codes Committee passed a bill that would increase penalties for trespassing on critical infrastructure, including bridges and tunnels.

On March 28, Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Carroll Gardens, announced the unanimous passage of S.2190/A.6792 , also known as the “Critical Infrastructure Safety Act” through the Senate’s Codes Committee.

Squadron introduced this legislation, along with Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, in collaboration with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Under the proposed law, critical infrastructure trespassers would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which could impose a maximum sentence of one year in jail or three years probation and a fine of up to $1,000 or twice the amount of the individual’s financial gain from the crime.

Currently, trespassing is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and does not differentiate between trespassing on critical infrastructure and other types of trespassing.

In 2014, a 23-year old French tourist climbed the Brooklyn Bridge to take photographs.  That same year, unidentified persons climbed the bridge and replaced the American flags with white flags.  The flag incident prompted the NYPD to increase surveillance of infrastructure, mostly out of a fear of terrorism. And last summer, a college 21-year-old Tennessee college student posted a selfie atop the Brooklyn Bridge.

“In this age of global terror, when the threat of attack is real for every city in the world, we have a responsibility to protect the critical infrastructure on which the people of New York City depend,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The law should clearly state that nobody has the right to interfere with our bridges, tunnels and other secure facilities for any reason, and that we will prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone who attempts to undermine our security,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Codes Committee and is ready for a floor vote in the Senate.