After the New York State Legislature once again failed to pass a law allowing him to implement speed cameras, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking this into his own hands. Speaking on a radio show, Bloomberg proposed tackling the city’s speeding problem by publicly shaming drivers caught speeding.
“We’ll put up their names and pictures someplace,” Bloomberg reportedly said on a talk radio show. “Maybe we can shame [drivers]… if Albany is not going to let us do this stuff, we’ve got to save lives.”
Bloomberg had hoped that the legislature in Albany, New York, would pass a bill allowing the City to install cameras that automatically mail a speeding ticket to drivers who exceed the limit at “dangerous” intersections in the city. Failing that, he apparently believes that drivers would be dissuaded from driving too quickly over concerns their mugshot would be posted somewhere public.
The speed limit in all of New York City is 30 mph. A 2010 study by the New York City Department of Transport found that 70 percent of drivers believed speeding is a problem within the City.
It’s not clear where and how exactly Mayor Bloomberg would “shame” drivers caught speeding in New York. It’s possible the City could use billboards, ads in newspapers, or online photo galleries to humiliate motorists brazen enough to exceed 30 mph within the confines of New York. Lacking the stocks or pillories used to shame criminals in medieval times, perhaps the Mayor could turn to a modern-day “scarlet letter” affixed to the cars of speeders.
Bloomberg’s proposal brings up one final question: between the honking cabs and jaywalking pedestrians, how often do New York City drivers even have the opportunity to exceed 30 mph?