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A city councilman who’s running for comptroller desperately tried to repair his reputation Friday in the wake of The Post’s revelation that he got caught speeding in school zones eight times in the past five years.
In a nearly 800-word essay for the transportation-focused Streetsblog NYC website, red-faced Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) — who’s amassed a total of 118 vehicle and traffic violations since 2013, according to city records — admitted, “Accountability is hard.”
“A New York Post stakeout and exposé is no fun. It stings,” he wrote.
“And I feel especially embarrassed to face the great group of street safety advocates who are supporting me for comptroller.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio accused Lander — an outspoken advocate of cracking down on reckless drivers — of “hypocrisy.”
“Everyone who says they believe in Vision Zero has to live by it,” de Blasio said, referring to his signature traffic-safety initiative, in response to The Post’s question at his daily briefing.
“Now, we’re all humans and we’re going to make mistakes sometimes but that’s too many to chalk up to a single mistake, obviously.”
De Blasio also said “I don’t understand” how Lander, who succeeded him in the City Council, managed to rack up a total of 118 vehicle and traffic violations since 2013, including for parking in front of fire hydrants and bus stops.
“I was a City Council member and I never would have parked in front of a hydrant or in a bus stop,” the mayor said.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate, simple as that.”
Lander didn’t apologize in his Streetsblog essay for his extensive history of dangerous driving and selfish parking.
But he claimed he would adopt a series of habits to improve his motoring, including by giving up City Council-issued parking placard, which The Post found displayed on the dashboard of his Toyota Prius on Friday morning — even though it says it expired on Feb. 1, 2020.
A campaign spokeswoman said that Lander put in the paperwork to renew it, but that DOT said he could continuing using it in the meanwhile. The Transportation Department did not immediately respond from The Post seeking to confirm that detail.
Lander — who is term-limited out of office at the end of the year — didn’t say if he’d forgo a new placard if he wins election as comptroller.
He also said that, “every month going forward, I’ll make public how many parking or moving violations I get.”
“Knowing that I’ll have to do it will make me slow down and follow parking rules,” he said.
During a Thursday night appearance on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” program, Lander repeatedly admitted that “I should slow down” but had to be pressured by host Errol Louis into finally saying, “I will slow down.”
Before that, Louis noted that Lander, who was the prime sponsor of a bill to let the city seize the cars of repeat offenders, “got the enforcement that you hoped for, but it doesn’t seem to have changed your own behavior.”
“First, I’m so far below the threshold of reckless drivers that my legislation would target — the top 1 percent of reckless drivers,” Lander said in a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do deflection.
Lander went so far as to note that his own bill, which was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio last year, “actually hasn’t gone into effect yet.”
Additional reporting by Georgett Roberts
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