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New York mayor still committed to reducing speed limits after being caught speeding

By Reuters
Friday, February 21, 2014 13:11 EDT
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By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said on Friday he remained committed to reducing speed limits and cutting down on traffic deaths in the city, a day after a local television news crew captured his convoy speeding and ignoring stop signs.

The driving incident comes after the new mayor rolled out an extensive, 63-point “Vision Zero” plan this week to tackle traffic deaths.

His proposals include reducing many city speed limits to 25 miles per hour from 30 miles per hour, and increasing the number of speed-tracking cameras.

“Our lives are literally in each other’s hands,” de Blasio said in outlining the plan on Tuesday on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where three pedestrians were killed last month.

De Blasio’s caravan was filmed by a crew from WCBS-TV driving up to 15 miles per hour above the speed limit and blasting past two stop signs as the mayor sat in the passenger seat of the lead car.

The convoy was driving through Queens after de Blasio attended an event to speak about road safety and pothole repairs, WCBS-TV said.

The mayor’s office would not confirm that the caravan was flouting traffic laws but said he “remained committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week.”

De Blasio’s office referred further questions to the New York Police Department.

The police issued a statement saying officers in charge of the mayor’s transportation “receive specialized training in driving, based on maintaining security as well as safety.”

“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,” it said.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson)

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