Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to put the brakes on a story about his official vehicles driving recklessly, just two days after the mayor announced a sweeping plan to crack down on dangerous drivers, but his refusal to answer any questions about the incident means the scandal will almost certainly linger. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
No one is pulling SUVs over that are blowing through stop signs and speeding down the highway.
They are part of the mayor's security operation, and Mayor Bill de Blasio was riding in the front seat of one of the cars as they violated one traffic law after the next.
The mayor, though, is refusing to answer questions about the drive.
Earlier in the day, when reporters caught up with him outside his home, the mayor promised that he would field questions about the incident at his afternoon news conference at City Hall.
"Now, our press conference later on today, you can ask all the questions you want after we talk about Long Island College Hospital," the mayor said at the time. "You can ask any other questions you'd like about this."
That, however, turned out not to be true. The mayor refused to engage with reporters about his security detail's driving habits, ducking out after making a short statement.
"I have great respect for NYPD security training and protocols. I'm committed, obviously, to traffic safety and safe streets in NYC. That's why we put forward Vision Zero. Commissioner Bratton addressed the topic of security detail earlier today. I've very comfortable with what Commissioner Bratton said, and I refer you to his comments. Thank you very much," de Blasio said.
The video is causing such a stir because it was shot only two days after the mayor unveiled his plan to sharply reduce traffic deaths by taking aim at dangerous drivers.
"We've put a very bold plan before you, and we want the public to know we're holding ourselves to this standard," the mayor said on Tuesday.
The mayor wants to lower the city's speed limit to 25 mph, and he is proposing to shut off cab meters when a driver is speeding.
The mayor is mistaken if he thinks his brief remarks will put the story to rest. Reporters will likely not be satisfied until every question about the episode has been asked and answered.
As if the reckless driving weren't enough, the mayor was also caught jaywalking near his home in Park Slope.