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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed a recent City Council meeting and promoted his "Vision Zero" traffic safety plan.

The initiative consists of a 63-point strategy launched to combat the serious problem of speeding and assorted traffic violations within the five boroughs comprising the city environs. Some of the highlights are as follows:

- Reducing the speed limit all over the city from 30 to 25 mph

- Increasing penalties for speeding violations

- Increasing use of red light and speed enforcement cameras

- Extending "slow zones" in neighborhoods

- Increasing penalties for limo and taxi drivers whose aggressive traffic tactics endanger others

- Implementing new designs annually in 50 intersections and corridors

The mayor himself has a swirl of controversy enveloping him after his police motorcade was recently nabbed by CBS 2 cameras speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign or use signals and weaving through traffic. The mayor repeatedly dodged inquiries on this matter before finally answering questions and taking responsibility for the judgment lapse.

"No one's above the law. That's a fundamental view I hold in everything I think about public life in a democratic society," de Blasio stated.

The newly appointed transportation chief of the NYPD has pledged more enforcement of traffic violations, including speeding, stating that routine traffic enforcement must become part of a policeman's routine job duties. He also plans to purchase 200 additional radar guns to supplement the 52 already in use by the department.

Better enforcement and stricter penalties will increase the amount of backlog in the traffic courts as court officers push for guilty pleas to reduce their caseload. But pleading guilty has its own set of problems, not the least of which includes skyrocketing insurance rates. Don't be bullied into a guilty plea for a traffic violation. Consult with a New York attorney well-versed in the state's traffic laws and fight to clear your driving record.

Source: CBS New York, "City Council Committees Hear De Blasio’s Traffic Safety Plan" No author given, Feb. 24, 2014

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