City Council Introduces Batch of Pedestrian Safety Bills

March 12, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—City Council introduced a batch of seven bills Wednesday closely aligned with the mayor’s plan to reduce pedestrian fatalities in the city.

The bills deal with a range of safety measures including lower speed limits, harsher penalties on drivers who fail to yield, and an investigative process for taxi drivers involved in crashes that result in serious injury or death.

The council also introduced two resolutions calling on the state Legislature to give New York City control over its speed and red light cameras. Currently, the state determines the maximum number of speed and red-light cameras that can be installed in New York City.

“The fact that we have no control of where we place red light cameras is simply absurd and indefensible,” said Council member Mark Levine at the City Council meeting Wednesday. 

A pilot program with six cameras for speeders placed near schools recorded nearly 1,000 speeders in two weeks, Levine added.

Mayor de Blasio made a promise during his campaign to implement a pedestrian safety strategy known as Vision Zero, with a goal to bring pedestrian fatalities to zero. On Feb. 18, he introduced an action plan for implementing the strategy, which involves cooperation between police, the Transportation Department, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The bills introduced Wednesday also include one that would mandate the Transportation Department to study safety on one-way streets and one that adds new restrictions on jaywalking. Another bill would create a database of crashes in New York City.

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