Spring 2004, p.15
State Assembly Speaker Remains Hostile to Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Laws
Speaker of the State Assembly Sheldon Silver has stymied red light and speed camera legislation that could stop deadly crashes like this one on the upper West Side of Manhattan.
Why does Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the State Assembly, have such a big problem with popular traffic safety tools like red light cameras, speed cameras and tougher penalties for killer drivers? More than 80% of the households in his crowded district on the southern tip of Manhattan do not own a car, and his district has hundreds of serious bicycle and pedestrian crashes a year. Yet, as we go to press, Silver continues to drag his feet on passing the extension of New York Cityís red light camera program and its expansion from 50 to 100 cameras. Meanwhile, legislation permitting New York City to use speed enforcement cameras continues to go nowhere despite its able champions, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and State Senator Frank Padavan. There is overwhelming evidence that red light and speed cameras work, and the State Senate has passed both bills. Yet Silver persists in opposing them without explanation.
A newcomer to Silverís parade of thwarted bicycle and pedestrian safety measures is the governor's package of bills that would hold killer drivers accountable. Albany insiders say that the governorís proposal is as dead as a pedestrian struck by a speeding, unlicensed driver who beat the red light.
Let Sheldon Silver know that you support red light and speed cameras and that you want to be able to walk and bicycle without worry.
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