Forget Big Gulps: Mayor Bloomberg's Latest War Is on Bad Drivers

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Following Albany's failure to pass legislation allowing New York City to issue fines using up to 40 new speed cameras, Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning suggested that perhaps he would look into the public shaming of bad drivers instead.

"Now, whether or not you could have the cameras, and then we'll put up their names and pictures someplace, maybe we can shame them," he said. "We should look at that."

The mayor and transportation advocates had been hoping a bill allowing the city to install speed-monitoring cameras on city streets would make it through Albany by the end of session.

The city already has a number of cameras that enforce red lights and bus lanes.

Introduced earlier this year in the Assembly, the bill's supporters recently found a Senate sponsor in Andrew Lanza, who recently said he believed he was confident the bill would become law by the end of this week.

It didn't.

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The mayor, during his regular Friday morning turn on the John Gambling Show, said that while the city could mount cameras of its own volition, it could not levy fines using them without state approval, something he believes dates back to the financial crisis of the 1970s.

The issue arose again later on in the show, when a Washington Heights resident named Elizabeth called in to complain about a particular intersection.

"Drivers know that when the light turns red, they have a few seconds before the light turns green in the other way, and there are always two to three cars that zoom through that red light," she said.

"We have thousands and thousands of corners, and we don't have the money for thousands and thousands of cops standing on every corner," said the mayor. "Using technology you would think would be the most efficient thing. It would stop people from breaking the law." 

"And we just can't get Albany to give us the authority to just do whatever number makes sense for us," he continued. "And why somebody from upstate should be deciding how many red light cameras we have or speeding cameras, another good idea, only in the crazy world of Albany."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.