THE COMMUTE: Last week, Sheepshead Bites reported on legislation being considered by the City Council to lower the speed limit on city residential streets narrower than 60 feet wide from 30 mph to 25 mph. It is a compromise to legislation proposed by City Councilmember David Greenfield to lower the citywide speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph. The City Council is currently revising the language of the law, which they hope to enact before Mayor Bloomberg leaves office.
Archive for the tag 'traffic accidents'
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.”
Senatory Marty Golden’s goal to stiffen penalties for hit and run drivers came one step closer to reality this week, after the New York State Senate passed his legislation, according to a press release.
As we reported last month, Golden has been trying to get this legislation passed for a few years now, already once getting it passed in the Senate, but seeing it fail to gain traction in the Assembly.
The bill bumps up hit and run penalties from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony. Repeat hit and run offenders will have penalties stiffened from a Class E Felony to a Class D Felony and hit and run drivers attempting to escape a scene where someone is killed will now face a Class C felony.
For Golden, the passage of this legislation is of great urgency considering the continued actions taken by reckless drivers on the road.
“Just last week, a hit and run accident in Manhattan took the life of a senior citizen. Two times in December we saw young women lose their lives at the hands of a motorist, in the Bronx and in Queens. And in November, a jogger was struck and killed in Brooklyn,” Golden said in the release.
Golden also pressed the Assembly not to drop the ball when it comes to pushing this legislation through.
“Each day that the State Assembly fails to act, it is another day that New Yorkers are walking, jogging, and riding their bikes in danger,” Golden said.
Sheepshead Bay’s Steven Cymbrowitz is the sponsor of the bill (A.1533) in the Assembly.