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Thursday’s Headlines: Special Reckless Drivers Edition

Mayor de Blasio signed a bill holding reckless drivers accountable on Wednesday. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor de Blasio signed the Council's Dangerous Vehicle Abatement bill into law on Wednesday — and did so with a full-throated condemnation of the car culture.

"For a long, long time our society worshipped at the altar of the automobile and worshipped the false idol and it led us down a very dangerous road, a road of acceptance that we never ever should have followed. But I think people are waking up really, really fast," the mayor said.

The bill will force the most reckless drivers — well, those with 15 camera-issued speeding tickets or five camera-issued red light tickets — to take a safe-driving class or have their cars seized. (NY Post covered it.)

Well, meanwhile in Staten Island, some people are helping reckless drivers avoid getting such tickets by alerting them to the locations of speed cameras (NY1, Streetsblog). The anti-camera vigilantes are being whipped up by local elected officials (look at you, Leadfoot Joe Borelli) who claim that the life-saving devices are just a revenue generator for the city.

It prompted our own would-be off-, off-Broadway musical theater producer Gersh Kuntzman to write a parody version of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" that is already topping the charts — or, at least, inspiring this bootleg version sung by Friends of Streetsblog, The Speeders.

Here's the rest of the news.

    • The MTA is hiring a lot of consultants to cut a lot of jobs (NYDN). But union leaders say it'll only lead to more overtime (NY Post)
    • The Brooklyn Paper took the exact right angle on the BQE repairs — why are we only thinking of the rich neighborhoods?
    • Even within the normal outrages of this genre, you will be uniquely infuriated by this story about a driver who rear-ended and nearly killed a cyclist — then sued him for damages to his car. (Rochester City Paper)
    • The MTA made good on its promise of intra-city discounts on LIRR and Metro-North. (amNY)
    • AND FINALLY: This is direct from the Mayor's Press Office. Yes, on Thursday, the mayor will have a press avail with BILLY IDOL! This is unedited: "The Mayor will be joined by environmentalist and three-time Grammy nominated rock star Billy Idol to announce a 'War on Idling' that includes a major new anti-idling campaign featuring Billy Idol and will encourage New Yorkers to report idling in their own neighborhoods—and get paid a portion of the fine. This event is open press. There will be Q-and-A." You better believe there will be Q and A. This is the greatest media event since LaGuardia read the funnies during the newspaper strike.

Here's the image for the public awareness campaign (OMG)!

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