Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to reduce the number of traffic fatalities to zero, and on Thursday, the City Council backed him up, passing a sweeping package of legislation to try to change what happens behind the wheel. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The City Council is hitting the gas on new rules of the road.
"This Council now means business," said City Councilman James Vacca of the Bronx.
Bolstering the mayor's plan to reduce traffic fatalities to zero, the City Council approved 11 pieces of legislation on Thursday, all aimed at making walking, biking and driving safer.
From the chamber floor, Council members invoked the images of traffic fatalities across the city.
"...was eight years old when he was run over by a truck crossing the street to go to school," said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens, referencing a fatal crash in Woodside.
"The taxicab driver failed to yield and took Cooper Stock's life," said City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal of Manhattan, referring to a boy killed by a cab on the Upper West Side.
All told, the bills will create 14 new slow zones over the next two years and lower the speed limit at 50 public schools annually.
The city will crack down on drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
And say goodbye to so-called stunt behavior. The Council outlawed the practice. Violators could face jail time.
The Council will also require that the city repair broken traffic signs in 24 hours.
Not everyone was praising the legislative package. Some in the taxi industry were encouraging the City Council to pump the brakes.
"We are very concerned that a lot of our drivers are going to lose their livelihoods and their licenses," said Cira Angeles of the Livery Base Owners Association.
That concern was seen on Thursday morning, as cab drivers lined the back of the Council chamber, protesting one bill that they say will make it easier for cabbies to accumulate points and then lose their licenses.
"There's going to be people that do not agree with it, and there will be disagreements, but we take the concerns into account, and it did factor into how we approached this matter," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Not surprisingly, the mayor supports the Council's move. He is expected to sign every bill.