Mayor Michael Bloomberg directed serious heat towards State Senator Marty Golden and two other senators this week over their opposition to the installation of speed enforcement cameras, according to a report in the New York Times.
The issue of reckless driving and speeding has become an exploding issue across the city as a rash of hit-and-run tragedies have made front-page on an ever increasing basis. According to the Times, 274 people died in traffic fatalities across the city last year, the highest since 2008. To combat the rising tide of blood spilled on the roads, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and politicians like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have sent letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo pleading for room in the state budget to install speed enforcement cameras. According to the New York Daily News, the inclusion of speed enforcement cameras were recently stripped from the state budget by opponents of the measure.
In assigning blame for the exclusion of the cameras in the state’s budget, Bloomberg pointed his finger at Senators Golden, Simcha Felder and GOP Senate leader Dean Skelos, urging their constituents to call these politicians the next time a tragedy occurs.
“Maybe you want to give those phone numbers to the parents of the child when a child is killed,” the Times reported Bloomberg saying. “It would be useful so that the parents can know exactly who’s to blame.”
Golden, a former police officer with strong ties to the police officers’ union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, believes that hiring more police officers is the answer to combat dangerous speeding. He also called the cameras “unreliable,” and suggested that a comprehensive study be done on the cameras before going full steam ahead with a plan to install them.
Bloomberg insisted that in light of all the traffic deaths, waiting was no longer an option.
“We literally are having kids that are getting killed around our schools because people are speeding,” he said. “And they don’t want to let us use cameras to stop people from doing that.”