NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s official vehicles were spotted breaking several traffic laws Thursday, just two days after he laid out a sweeping traffic safety plan that included harsh restrictions on reckless drivers.
De Blasio was in the front passenger seat of the lead SUV of a two-vehicle caravan that was captured on video speeding, running through two stop signs and not signaling when changing lanes. The footage, televised on WCBS, was taken as de Blasio returned to City Hall after a news conference in Queens.
The mayor’s press office deferred to the New York Police Department for particulars of the incident because a member of the NYPD was driving de Blasio’s SUV. But de Blasio’s press secretary, Phil Walzak, said in a statement that public safety is everyone’s responsibility.
With that in mind, Mayor de Blasio is firmly committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week, Walzak said. The statement did not include an apology or admission of wrongdoing.
The NYPD did not address the specifics of Thursday’s incident in its statement, but it said members of the security detail receive specialized training in driving based on maintaining security as well as safety.
The footage shows de Blasio’s vehicles starting their journey in a quiet residential stretch of Maspeth, where they mayor had just held a news conference discussing his administration’s plans to combat potholes.
The two bulky, black vehicles did not stop at two stop signs in the neighborhood. Later, the CBS camera – which was in a car that followed the mayor’s motorcade – showed the vehicle de Blasio was riding in going 40 mph in a 30 mph zone, then nearly 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.