Comprised of 11 bills and six resolutions, the legislative package addresses everything from speed limits to “stunt behavior” by motorists to penalties for reckless driving.
“Drivers must understand that they have a tremendous amount of responsibility whenever they get behind the wheel and must always be wary of the many others who use our streets,” chair of the Committee on Transportation Ydanis Rodriguez said.
“From removing unsafe drivers from our streets to strengthening penalties for reckless and dangerous behavior, we send a clear message today that traffic-related deaths and injuries will no longer go unchecked,” he added. “We must stem this terrible tide that leaves only tragedy in its wake. If we work together toward our common goal, it is certainly possible to bring traffic deaths to zero by 2024.”
Resolutions passed increase penalties for drivers who do not exercise due care; who drive on the sidewalk; who fail to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians who have the right of way; who leave the scene of an accident; who perform “stunts” such as wheelies, donuts, burnouts and revving; and for negligent driving by Taxi and Limousine Commission licensed drivers
“From curbing speeding to holding dangerous drivers accountable, these bills are a major step forward for our Vision Zero initiative,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “They will protect families and make our neighborhoods safer.”
In addition, the legislation calls for New York City to have control over its own red light ]and speed camera programs.
The City Council is also asking for more 20 mph neighborhood slow zones, as well as studies into the safety of workers on bridges, accidents resulting from left turns and pedestrian fatalities on arterial streets.
“This comprehensive package of reforms and new measures provides us with a meaningful plan of action to reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities in New York City,” Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said. “I’m grateful to my colleagues in the council, the de Blasio Administration, and the countless activists, advocates and ordinary citizens who came together to help make these new policies possible.”