Mayor’s Drivers Allegedly Covered Up Accident
As Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio decided to tackle the epidemic of serious injuries and fatalities that have plagued New York City’s streets. Since driver behaviors such as speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians account for 70% of pedestrian fatalities, that is one major point that de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative hoped to tackle. In addition to educational initiatives, the program includes stepped up police enforcement for speeding, distracted driving, and other violations. Improving street design is also another point of the initiative. While the goal is safer streets for pedestrians, it seems that de Blasio’s own drivers aren’t following the laws, according to a report by the New York Daily News.
On a Saturday in August 2015, de Blasio’s police SUV was driving the wrong way with lights and sirens activated when it got into a collision with a boiler truck. The incident then allegedly sparked a cover-up involving de Blasio and the New York Police Department team responsible for his safety.
NYPD Det. Edger Robles was driving west on eastbound E. 135th street in an unmarked black SUV when he collided with a boiler truck at Fifth Avenue. At the time of the accident, de Blasio and two other detectives were in the vehicle. The accident report indicated that the boiler truck was making a legal left turn onto 5th street when the SUV collided with it. The driver of the boiler truck blamed Robles for the accident and in turn, Robles blamed the other driver. The police report listed Robles as the at-fault driver in the accident.
Text messages that were recovered following the accident indicate that the commanding officer of the unit, Inspector Howard Redmond, ordered that the accident be covered up. Sources said that Redmond feared the public backlash at the accident in light of de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.