De Blasio caravan seen speeding, running stop signs: report


| ctumola@queenscourier.com |

Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasi
Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasi

Updated Friday, Feb. 20, 2:55 p.m.

A vehicle carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio was allegedly caught speeding and breaking other traffic laws just two days after he unveiled his plan to prevent reckless driving.

The mayor was heading back from a press conference in Maspeth on fixing potholes Thursday afternoon when the traffic violations occurred, according to CBS New York, which captured the incident on video.

Its news crews allegedly saw de Blasio’s two-vehicle caravan violate numerous laws, including exceeding the speed limit, going through a stop sign at a Queens intersection and changing lanes without signaling.

According to CBS 2, his cars were observed going 40 to 45 mph in a 30 mph zone, and up to 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.

On Tuesday, de Blasio announced a set of initiatives as part of his Vision Zero plan, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero within the next 10 years.

They included increasing enforcement against speeding, reducing the citywide “default” speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, and expanding the use of speed and red light enforcement cameras.

A de Blasio spokesperson told CBS New York that the mayor was “firmly committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week,” but referred questions on the violations to the NYPD.

In a statement the NYPD, which provides security and transportation for the mayor, said its personnel assigned to his security detail receives special training in driving for security and safety reasons.

“At certain times, under certain conditions, this training may include the use of techniques such as maintaining speed with the general flow of traffic, and may sometimes include tactics to safely keep two or more police vehicles together in formation when crossing intersections,” the statement said. “The handling of police vehicles transporting any protectee is determined solely by police personnel based on their specialized training in executive protection and professional judgment.”

Some Maspeth residents agreed, citing that the NYPD has to protect the leader of the city.

“It’s not [de Blasio] telling the guy to blow the sign,” said Anthony Kosior.

But most residents that talked with The Courier expressed frustration with the hypocritical behavior.

“You can’t try to pass a law if you’re not going to abide by it yourself,” Lynn Sheridan said.

Ben Vessa, a Middle Village resident agreed, “Nobody knows that’s Mayor de Blasio with his black Suburban. If they see a guy break [a sign] they’ll do it too.”

Facing reporters outside of his Brooklyn home Friday morning, de Blaiso again referred the matter to the NYPD.

He said he will answer questions on the incident during a press conference later today.

Shortly after making that statement, the mayor was caught violating another street safety law, according to the New York Post, which witnessed him jaywalking across 11th Street on 6th Avenue in Park Slope. De Blasio’s transgression follows a recent NYPD crackdown on jaywalking that he supported.

 

 -With additional reporting by Liam La Guerre

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES