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Slew of Traffic Safety Bills on Council Transpo Committee Agenda

The City Council transportation committee has a full docket of traffic safety bills on the agenda for its April 30 meeting. We'll have more on some of these bills in future posts, but for now here's a summary.

There are a number of bills pertaining to taxi safety. Intro 276 would institute a one-year pilot program for "black box" technology to record and report speed, location, and braking. Intro 272 would suspend hack licenses of cab drivers who accumulate six or more license points in 15 months, and revoke licenses for 10 or more points in 15 months, for dangerous driving violations. Intro 171 would suspend or revoke TLC licenses of cab drivers who are summonsed or convicted, respectively, of traffic violations stemming from crashes that result in critical injury or death. And Intros 174 and 277 would require the TLC to review NYPD cab crash investigations and issue quarterly reports on the number of crashes reviewed, resulting injuries, and subsequent disciplinary actions.

Other bills to be considered:

    • Intro 238: A law that would set the penalty for failing to yield to a pedestrian or cyclist from $50 to $250 and up to 15 days in jail. The bill would make it a misdemeanor for a driver to "make contact" with a pedestrian or cyclist who has the right of way, punishable by up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail.
    • Intro 140: A law lowering the speed limit to 25 miles per hour on one-way streets, and requiring DOT to implement seven 20-mph slow zones and 50 20-mph school slow zones a year.
    • Intro 43: A law requiring DOT to study safety issues pertaining to left-hand turns by motorists and to recommend measures to reduce injuries and deaths to pedestrians and cyclists, possibly including daylighting and exclusive crossing time.
    • Intro 46: A law requiring DOT to keep a log of defective traffic signals and to inspect and/or repair broken signals within 24 hours.
    • Intro 153: A law requiring the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to include traffic crashes and fatalities in an interactive NYPD crime map.
    • Intro 167: A law prohibiting "stunt behavior" by motorcyclists, including wheelies, donuts, engine revving, and tire-smoking.
    • Intro 168: A law requiring DOT to study the safety of arterial streets.
    • Intro 198: A law requiring all "tractors and trucks loading and unloading items within the city" to be equipped with side guards that help prevent people from being swept beneath them.
    • Intro 80: A law requiring DOT and NYPD to establish safety guidelines for work zones, including radar speed displays.

There are several resolutions on the agenda, calling on state lawmakers to: increase the penalty for reckless driving that results in death or serious injury; pass extant bills that would increase penalties for leaving the scene of a crash; lower the city speed limit, subject to the authority of the City Council; increase the penalty for driving on the sidewalk to $250 and three license points; and make it a misdemeanor to violate the state's vulnerable user law. The committee will also take up resolutions asking for home rule of NYC's automated enforcement program.

The transportation committee will meet in City Hall Council Chambers next Wednesday at 1 p.m.

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