Safe mayor was an aggressive driver
Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a traffic-safety initiative that would dramatically reduce fatal car accidents by making it nearly impossible to drive recklessly without getting caught.
Among the drivers affected by the initiative would be ... Bill de Blasio.
According to four former de Blasio staffers, all of whom would talk about their former boss only on background, he was inclined to speed or direct staffers to drive faster when he was public advocate and a mayoral candidate.
"Dear God," said one former aide. "Some of the worst road rage I've ever seen, seriously."
The ex-staffer said de Blasio, whose NYPD detail was caught by CBS speeding and blowing stop signs on Thursday, was "very angry and upleasant" on the road, prone to honking and yelling at other drivers.
Another former employee called him "an awful driver. ... He's like a speeder, just a little reckless."
A third former de Blasio aide said the mayor "would also direct staff driving him to drive fast."
And a fourth ex-worker described him as a back-seat driver, bossing around his motorists.
De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell, a longtime de Blasio aide, disputed the former aides' characterizations, saying, "He is an exceptionally good driver. Anybody who has spent time in a car with him knows that and I've never seen him do anything unsafe."
The New York Times referenced his driving style in a profile last year, writing, "Granted a chauffeur by the city, he insisted on driving himself, often accelerating aggresively to beat yellow lights."
The Daily News reported today that de Blasio has a clean driving record, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.