New York City's Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Program, a tool to rein in drivers who accrued 15 camera-issued speeding tickets in a year, expires on Thursday with no replacement policy in sight, Streetsblog NYC reports. Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi confirmed that the city has no plan beyond hoping state lawmakers help out. "We will look to the advocacy world for support to go to the state and get better restrictions and better enforcement tools ... on the registrations and licenses of those who repeatedly run red lights [and] repeatedly get speed camera violations," she said. "We need sharper tools." Adding to the concern over the elimination of the program is the silence of the city's political class, who declined multiple requests to discuss the end of the program. "The program launched with a simple idea of getting reckless drivers vehicle off our streets, so it's incredibly frustrating and disappointing that we're in this situation," said Elizabeth Adams, the deputy executive director for Public Affairs at Transportation Alternatives.
Starting on Thursday, if a speeding driver is nabbed for the 15th time in a 12-month period, all they will have to do is pay a $50 ticket. That person can speed every day, even multiple times per day, and as long as the $50 tickets are paid, they will still be considered a driver with a pristine record as far as city and state officials, insurance companies, and district attorneys are concerned. Joshi said that additional lawmaking in Albany will be a key factor in decreasing reckless drivers, but there are challenges. Many bills are pending, reauthorizing and expanding. In the session that ended in June, the state Assembly failed to even allow New York City to set its own speed limit. In that same legislative period, lawmakers failed to require complete street designs; failed to pass a bill to suspend the registration of any car caught by a speed camera five times in any 12-month period; failed to make it easier to suspend a learner’s permit; failed to ban the relicensing of drivers who have been twice convicted of road violations that caused injury or death; and failed to allow speed camera fines to escalate upon repeat offenses.