QUEENS, NEW YORK: In recent months, the City Council’s transportation chair was clocked speeding as many as three times despite her commitment to “do better.” Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Queens) swore to make sure to obey the rules in April after a local news site discovered her with 17 speeding tickets in just 11 months. After being called out for speeding, Brooks-Powers 39, reportedly replied, “I absolutely swear to do better.”
However, despite her vow, she has been recorded on city cameras going beyond the legal speed limit on April 24, June 23 and July 22. Streetsblog revealed that two of the councilwoman’s speeding fines were issued on days she was touring the city and discussing public transit with her colleagues. Almost all of the traffic offenses Brooks-Powers was involved in took occurred in Queens, where as many as 27 people perished in automobile wrecks as of July 31 this year.
Brooks-Powers’ driving record qualifies her for the ‘dangerous vehicle abatement program.’ Under the initiative, the city can confiscate automobiles with 15 or more speed camera penalties in a 12-month period, until the registered owner complete a driver safety course. However, it is unknown if she has been enrolled in the program.
Several lawmakers around the US have been implicated in driving offenses in recent times. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot’s motorcade has been busted for repeated speeding and traffic charges, but none of the fines, totaling $658, have been paid. The congressman has pushed for stiffer fines for drivers who are found speeding. Since February 2020, Lightfoot’s SUVs have been engaged in at least eight incidents. Footage collected and uncovered by CWB Chicago shows multiple occurrences involving her autos. One video shows two Ford Expedition SUVs racing past a set of red lights. Traffic cameras are seen flashing in their wake. Another video shows a black Chevy SUV making a left turn at a red signal at a large intersection. It is unknown if Lightfoot was in the SUVs at the time of the accidents, and she apparently would not have been driving even if she was.
New Jersey councilwoman Amy DeGise was recently recorded on CCTV tape hitting a bicycle at an intersection in Jersey City with her SUV and afterwards racing away without stopping. Amy DeGise is being asked to quit after she drove into Andrew Black, 29, a bicyclist, on July 19 at around 8 am. The event took place at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street.
Meanwhile, the father of a five-year-old child said he is scared that Wisconsin Democratic leader Janet Bewley will not be punished despite being involved in a car crash that killed his daughter and wife. Marine Brandon Fink has criticized Bewley for not reaching out to him after the tragic crash. 70-year-old Bewley had undergone cataract eye surgery the day before the catastrophic crash that killed Fink’s wife Alyssa Ortman, 27, and daughter Khali, five.