Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Signs Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Bill Into Law

NY City Hall Press Office Photo

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio on Thursday February 26, signed the Dangerous Vehicle Abatement bill into law, the latest step in the Administration’s Vision Zero plan to make New York City’s streets safer. The bill was introduced by Council Member Brad Lander and passed City Council with an overwhelming majority. The new law targets the most reckless drivers by allowing the City to seize and impound vehicles with 15 or more school speed camera violations or 5 or more red light camera violations during a 12-month period unless the registered owner or operator completes a driver accountability course.

“This is a major step toward our goal of achieving Vision Zero,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are putting all drivers on notice that if you behave recklessly behind the wheel, there will be real consequences. This law will make our streets safer for all New Yorkers, and I thank Council Member Lander for leading the charge.”

“We thank Mayor de Blasio for signing this landmark legislation, a monumental step forward for Vision Zero,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We know that vehicles with the highest number of red light and speed camera violations are significantly more likely to be involved in serious crashes. Through an unprecedented program of education and enforcement, including the possible loss of a vehicle, this new law will help us change driver behavior so we can keep driving down traffic deaths and serious injuries.”

Introduced by Council Member Brad Lander, Intro 971 will create a dangerous vehicle abatement program. Owners of vehicles with 5 or more red light camera violations or 15 or more school speed camera violations incurred within 12 months may be required to take a safe vehicle operation course overseen by DOT. If an owner fails to complete the course, their vehicle may be seized and impounded by the City Sheriff.  Officials estimate that the new law will affect about 3,000 to 6,000 vehicles, or less than 1 percent of the nearly 2 million vehicles registered in the city. The law will take effect on February 26, 2021 and apply to red light camera and school speed camera violations incurred after October 26, 2020. The program will run for 3 years, at which point the Mayor and Council will decide to renew or modify this effort.

New York City school zone speed cameras issue violations to vehicles traveling more than 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. Both speeding and red light violations carry a $50 fine.  DOT currently operates more than 600 speed cameras in school zones around the five boroughs. By the end of 2021, the number of cameras across the city is expected to reach 2,000. The city also operates red light cameras at 150 intersections.

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