The family car used by the chair of New York City's transportation committee was caught speeding an alarming number of times this year, city data shows.
Whoever owns the car, which is often driven by City Councilmember Selvena Brooks-Powers of southeastern Queens, has racked up enough tickets that city law requires them to take a driver safety course or risk having the wheels impounded. It’s not clear how often Brooks-Powers drives the vehicle herself.
The car has received 34 tickets since the councilmember took office in March 2021 following a special election. Of those tickets, 29 were for speeding in school zones, including one issued the day before Brooks-Powers was announced as chair of the Council’s transportation committee in January.
The car was also ticketed outside Hudson Yards in October for fraudulent use of a parking permit. The $65 fine was later dismissed.
The vehicle is linked to $2,105 paid in fines and penalties since Brooks-Powers took office, according to city data.
A spokesperson for Brooks-Powers said the car — a 2019 gray Nissan — is not registered under her name, but is a shared family vehicle. The politician regularly uses the car, and it has been seen parked outside City Hall by several other outlets.
The car has enough speeding tickets to trigger the city’s Dangerous Vehicle Abatement law, which was signed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2020. The law mandates that owners of cars with more than 15 speed camera violations or five red light cameras within any 12-month window take a safety course. If the car’s owner does not take a safety course within 30 days after receiving a notice, the law states the car will be seized by the city sheriff’s office.
It’s unclear if the person who holds the car’s registration has received a notice through the program. City officials said they don’t disclose the identities of people who qualify for the law.
The high rate of speeding tickets issued to Brooks-Powers’ car continued after she told Streetsblog in April she would “slow down.” Her family’s car has been caught speeding in school zones nine times since.
A spokesperson for Brooks-Powers said she only uses the car “occasionally.”
Lauded by Mayor Eric Adams, a state law expanded the city’s speed camera program in August – allowing them to automatically issue tickets 24/7 instead of only from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. Data from the city Department of Transportation shows the shift helped discourage reckless driving. The number of monthly speeding violations issued by the cameras fell by 25% from August to November.
Danny Harris, executive director of the street safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said all motorists in the city should slow down. “Whether you think it's OK to speed or be distracted, or to turn your attention away from the road, the realities are that families are being impacted forever,” said Danny Harris, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Your actions behind the wheel matter.”
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Adams' role in expanding the speed Camera program. The expansion was made possible under a state law.