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Queens Chronicle

Mayor doesn’t know ’18 traffic safety bill

Lander would target reckless drivers

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 10:30 am

Mayor de Blasio, the creator and undisputed champion of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, last Friday told a radio audience that he has not seen a bill that would put a lot more teeth into his administration’s traffic safety initiatives.

The legislation — Intro. 971 — was introduced by Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) in June 2018.

The Reckless Driver Accountability Act includes provisions that would allow the city to boot or impound vehicles that have received five or more speeding violations or red light camera violations within a 12-month period.

During the mayor’s regular interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” Lehrer mentioned Lander’s legislation in response to a caller who said she is an ardent Vision Zero supporter.

“ ... I see City Councilman Brad Lander has a bill that he calls the Reckless Driver Accountability Act which includes booting or impounding cars that accumulate five or more red-light and speed camera violations within the year, expanding the Driver Accountability Program currently offered in Red Hook and on Staten Island as an alternative for drivers who were ticketed for moving violations, also, requiring the city to produce an annual study on dangerous driving,” Lehrer said, according to a transcript provided by the Mayor’s Office. “So what would you think of the provisions of Brad Lander’s bill?”

“I haven’t seen his bill, but I can tell you that I work closely with Brad,” de Blasio said. “I come from the same community in Brooklyn and we had a horrible tragedy actually it sounds a little bit similar to the tragedy in Brooklyn a few days ago that a driver with a medical condition [sic]. And you remember that horrible tragedy in Park Slope and the loss of children. You know, when you see something like that, that could have been stopped by better laws.”

De Blasio said some things, like barring people with certain medical conditions from driving, require state action.

“In terms of the items in Brad Lander’s bill, they sound directionally correct,” he said. “Again, we need to see the exact language, but they certainly sound directionally correct. We need to have more accountability ...”

Lander’s bill has a good deal of support in the Queens delegation, with listed co-sponsors including Councilmembers Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Queens), Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), Andrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), Bob Holden (D-Middle Village), Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and Francisco Moya (D-Corona).

The Mayor’s Office did not respond to request for comment.

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