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TV report: De Blasio motorcade ignored traffic laws

In this exclusive frame grab, CBS 2 cameras

In this exclusive frame grab, CBS 2 cameras caught the driver of the car carrying Mayor Bill de Blasio running through a stop sign and violating a number of other traffic violations in Manhattan on Feb. 20, 2014. Credit: CBS2

A motorcade carrying New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was caught on video Thursday running stop signs, exceeding the speed limit and failing to signal -- two days after he announced a crackdown on reckless driving, CBS 2 reported.

The reporter who followed the two unmarked SUVs from a de Blasio news conference on potholes tallied the theoretical points penalties for the violations. The conclusion: the NYPD drivers, if civilians, would have racked up enough infractions to have their licenses suspended.

The mayor is chauffeured by plainclothes officers. He rode Thursday in the front seat -- his reported preference for extra leg room because of his 6-foot-6 height.

De Blasio's motorcade blew through two stop signs and sped past speed-limit signs, the report said. The vehicles, which apparently had neither lights nor sirens activated, drove at 40 to 45 mph in a 30 mph zone, and about 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to CBS 2.

An NYPD statement did not directly address the violations but said the bodyguards "receive specialized training in driving based on maintaining security as well as safety."

It continued: "At certain times, under certain conditions, this training may include the use of techniques such as maintaining speed with the general flow of traffic, and may sometimes include tactics to safely keep two or more police vehicles together in formation when crossing intersections."

Mayoral spokesman Phil Walzak Thursday night cited the NYPD's "training and protocols" and said de Blasio is firmly committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week."

Earlier this week, de Blasio unveiled a 63-point strategy called Vision Zero to curtail pedestrian deaths. It included a plan to ask Albany to lower New York City's default speed limit to 25 mph from 30 and to investigate technology that would slow down taxi meters when cabbies speed.

"Our lives are literally in each other's hands," the mayor said Tuesday. "Our children's lives are in each other's hands."

He added: "We want the public to know that we are holding ourselves to this standard."


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