NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Days after CBS 2 cameras exclusively caught his caravan running through stop signs and speeding, Mayor Bill de Blasio took his first questions about the incident.
“Every city employee needs to respect the law, myself included, needs to respect the traffic laws, needs to comport themselves in a way that’s safe, of course,” de Blasio said Monday. “No one’s above the law. That’s a fundamental view I hold in everything I think about public life in a democratic society. That’s a very different question however from the question of security for someone protected by the NYPD.”
CBS 2 cameras caught the mayor’s caravan Thursday blowing through two stop signs in Queens, changing lanes without signaling, going 40 mph in a 30 mph zone and then nearly 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.
The various traffic violations came just two days after de Blasio unveiled his “Vision Zero” pedestrian safety plan. The plan involves lowering the speed limit and more rigorous enforcement of traffic laws.
The City Council held its first public hearing about Vision Zero’s implementation Monday.
“Should everyone who works for me and should I follow the law scrupulously? Of course, yes,” de Blasio said. “If the NYPD in any given instance believes there’s a security reason for doing something a certain way, I think that’s important to recognize and respect.”
De Blasio said Monday he would not question the protocols of his NYPD security team, calling that discussion a “red line… because that to me is a very slippery slope.”
“I wish we were living in an environment where I didn’t need security, I really do, but that’s not the world we live in,” de Blasio added.
He also urged New Yorkers to drive safely.
De Blasio took questions on the matter while attending an unrelated event on Staten Island Monday, after spending the weekend in Pennsylvania.
On Friday, de Blasio refused to answer questions on the matter, opting instead to read a brief statement.
“I have great respect for the NYPD security training and protocols. I’m committed, obviously, to traffic safety on and state streets of New York City. That’s why we put forward Vision Zero,” the mayor said. “Commissioner Bratton addressed the topic of my security detail earlier [Friday]. I’m very comfortable with what Commissioner Bratton said, and I refer you to his comments.”
Bratton had said he was not “overly concerned” about the traffic violations caught on video.
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