Newsday, the Long Island daily, wooded yesterday with a pro-driver take on a promising school bus camera program — and it was a particularly egregious example of a bunch of suburban editors reflexively siding with whining, entitled drivers over the kids they are able to kill in a split second.
“Drivers Paid $24.8M In Tickets” blared the headline on a story about Suffolk County’s program to have cameras on the “Stop” arms on school buses issue tickets to drivers who speed past the flashing sign. “Some motorists complain it’s a cash grab,” added one headline.
The article almost entirely focused on aggrieved drivers who object to the prospect of getting a ticket for driving recklessly around kids getting on and off school buses.
“The county has touted [the cameras] as a vital safety tool for children — but [it] also has been met with skepticism by motorists and officials concerned it’s a cash grab,” the paper reported.
Some drivers claim they’ve been wrongly ticketed or denied their due process rights to challenge the summonses. OK, fair point, but one local lawmaker so values driver’s rights to speed that he’s willing to throw out the baby of safety with the bathwater of proper ticketing processes.
“As much as we want to protect the safety of our students, it can’t be at the expense of people feeling like they are being fleeced and this is just a cash cow and not about public safety,” the pol added.
Of course, people can have whatever opinions they want, but by only focusing on the complaints of a few randos on Nextdoor, Newsday violated the public trust. If a single kid’s life is saved because a driver stops at a flashing bus sign, it’s worth any amount of temporary inconvenience of a wrongly ticketed or slowed-down driver.
In other news:
- Speaking of craziness on the Island, a mom used her car as a deadly weapon to allegedly avenge her bullied son. (NY Post)
- From the assignment desk: Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez will journey to Albany today “to call for New York State to lower the legal blood alcohol limit from .08 to .05 percent,” according to the DOT advisory. (We wrote about this effort when it was launched around Dick Clark’s New Year’s Drinking Eve.)
- Post gets action: Janno Lieber says he’ll look into the waste at the LIRR alleged by the tabloid — which has another big waste story on Monday.
- Speaking of the MTA, Gov. Hochul’s financing plan relies on $500 million from the city — but Mayor Adams is not keen on paying. (NY Post)
- No car, no problem: The state’s former Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and acting Chief Judge Anthony Cannataro appear to have bilked taxpayers by failing to properly account for their car and full-time (!) chauffeur. You get the tar, we’ll get the feathers. (Law360)
- The plot thickens on that off-duty cop who was allegedly driving drunk. (NYDN)
- Scores of cops misused their authority during the George Floyd protests, the Civilian Complaint Review Board says (NY Post, NY Times, amNY). And only a dozen of 89 cops charged with serious violations have been punished, Gothamist added.
- Like Streetsblog (albeit without teeth), amNY covered Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s road safety announcement.
- Well, it’s not like Council members Marjorie Velázquez and Justin Brannan were progressives anyway. (Politico)
- This is your brain. And this is, um, your brain (er, what were we saying?) on pollution. (Environmental Health via University of British Columbia press office)
- There’s been a shakeup at the FDNY, the Daily News reports. Oddly, it’s not over this scandal (and so many others like it):
UPDATE: I caught another @FDNY firefighter illegally covering his plate (which obviously helps him avoid speed camera tickets!). When is @NYCMayor going to take this scourge seriously? It's CRIMINAL MISCHIEF! pic.twitter.com/5LaJrknflQ
— Gersh Kuntzman (@GershKuntzman) February 6, 2023