New York City Reckless Drivers Could Face Mandatory Safe Driving Class

In this March 2019 photo, pedestrians cross Delancey Street as traffic is seen making its way into Manhattan from Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge, in New York.

In this March 2019 photo, pedestrians cross Delancey Street as traffic is seen making its way into Manhattan from Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge, in New York. AP Photo

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Drivers who blow through red lights or get caught repeatedly speeding will be required to take a safe driving course under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the New York City Council on Tuesday. The three-year program is believed to be first of its kind, targeting reckless drivers who city officials say make streets less safe for pedestrians and cyclists. People would be required to take the course if they get five red-light tickets or 15 speeding camera tickets within a year. Drivers who fail to comply will face having their cars impounded. “We know that the most reckless drivers in the city are responsible for a disproportionate number of crashes that injure or kill New Yorkers," said council member Brad Lander, who sponsored the legislation. Lander first proposed the bill after a driver in Brooklyn crashed into pedestrians, killing two children and injuring two other people. Ruthie Ann Miles, a Broadway actress, was one of the injured people. Her 5-year-old daughter killed and two months after the crash Miles miscarried a pregnancy. The driver had 12 traffic violations in the previous two years. Mayor Bill de Blasio originally had reservations about Lander’s proposal, but came onboard when the scope was reduced to affect about 5,000 drivers. [New  York Times; Gothamist

FARMER TAX CUTS | Wisconsin legislators are moving a plan to cut taxes for Wisconsin farmers. The almost $30 million plan is aimed at dairy farmers. Many have been in financial crisis over the last five years, with hundreds shutting down. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

DISPOSABLE E-CIGARETTES | A Maryland official this week announced he would order that disposable flavored e-cigarettes will be banned in the state. The disposable e-cigarettes, which are popular with teens, were exempted from an earlier federal ban. “It’s just not acceptable to stand by for an hour longer,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. [Washington Post]

DEPORTATION FLIGHTS | The Trump administration this week sued King County, Washington, to force them to allow deportation flights from Boeing Field. [Seattle Times]

WHALE ENTANGLEMENTS | Maine needs to do more in its plan to protect right whales from lobster gear, a key federal agency has said. Maine officials need to come up with a better proposal to prevent whales from getting trapped in buoy lines or risk new mandates, the National Marine Fisheries Service ruled. [Portland Press Herald]

Laura Maggi is the Managing Editor at Route Fifty.

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