Monday, December 22, 2014

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The Call Blog: Police Begin Another Ticket Blitz On Reckless Drivers

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On my walk to the subway today, I saw two cops "walking the beat" in Brooklyn. One on Sixth Avenue, another on Fifth Avenue. Each officer was slowly strolling alone, getting strange looks from every New Yorker on the sidewalk. I wonder if the same thing is happening in every neighborhood?

This time, it will last three weeks. Starting today, the NYPD will once again target reckless drivers at some of the most problematic intersections in the five boroughs. The crackdown, which will be in effect 24 hours a day until July 6, is the latest effort to reduce traffic-related fatalities as part of Mayor de Blasio's "Vision Zero" initiative.

Police will focus on speeding, driving while using a cell phone, making improper turns, disobeying traffic signs, and failing to yield to pedestrians. The NYPD reports "failing to yield" summonses have increased 155% compared to the same time last year. Supporters welcome the extra scrutiny to make the roads safer. Opponents view the initiative as nothing more than a way to generate revenue. What do you say?

Do you welcome this three-week ticket blitz on reckless drivers? Are you driving, cycling, or walking differently as a result of these crackdowns? Have you noticed a difference on the roads? Is there an intersection that needs more enforcement where you live?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I would love for someone to address the buckles in the road and major bumps on the belt parkway it is horrible. The city should be a shame of itself for such of a mess where are the people tax dollars going???


It's not only the drivers---noone is speaking of the peds who just walk against the light without a care.


I'm tired of watching bikes going through lights. My friends uncle was killed by a bike and another friend just broke her wrist. I'm also fed up with cars that refuse to give pedestrians the right of way.

Susan, Flatiron neighborhood

How about monitoring what police are doing within this three week crackdown to make sure officers are really ticketing fairly to those who disobey the law, how do you know they are not really giving out these tickets to make a point during the crackdown. Can we send videos of policemen giving out undeserved tickets, or can we report officers breaking the law themselves? I would like to show them talking on the phone while driving patrol vehicle, texting while on patrol, driving without seat belts.

Carlos from Corona

If they gave tickets here for every infraction I see in Forest Hills, the City would never have a budget deficit.


Why don't they allow traffic police to give tickets to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.


23rd street and 11th ave. Chelsea Piers, The River Park, playing fields and kids water park are terrific and family friendly if you can manage to get across 11th avenue...this is a dangerous accident waiting to happen. All west bound cars on 23rd must turn but share the same green light/walk sign as pedestrians ....Crazy.


This zero tolerance program is wreckless because there is no need to reduce the speed limit which causes more traffic what should of been done was enforce the current speed limit and traffic laws this is a waste of police resources this is forcing officers to issue unwarranted summonses because of the pressure there under.


Alternate car and bicycle streets. So cars and bicycles are never riding on the same streets.


I have noticed more dangerous driving habits in the past few months.

It seems to be a drivers vs pedestrians mentality taking place.

Bicyclists are becoming a true menace. They don't obey traffic signs or lights. They won't hesitate to cut you off, zoom within inches of you, and if they hit you, they actually curse YOU .

Flushing, NY

-Increase gas tax
-Put tolls on east river bridges
-issue tickets to jaywalkers
-Get rid of thousands of out of state illegal vehicles in NYC. Out of state lic plates but living full time in NYC . Insurance fraud and ppl who can't get lic. In NYC get out of state
- Hire more enforcers that tkt cars and pedestrians -Create app to have citizens take video
of cars and incidents. Car gets ticket. Citizen gets 25% of revenue

Compare car issue to subway. Hundreds of ppl get hit by subways and many deaths every year. The subways are not jumping off the tracks. The subways are not hitting ppl on the platform. It's the ppl/pedestrians that are the problem not the subway cars or subway engineer.....


There should be a mandatory driver's license with traffic safety exam for all bicycle riders in New York. Riding with earphones on and texting while riding is just asking for disaster. Likewise, bike lanes are not sidewalks for pedestrians stampeding to Penn Station at rush hour.

Mark in Hell's Kitchen

Three weeks will do nothing. What the need to also crack down on are the drivers in SUV's because most people can't drive them they're essentially mini trucks. I've seen SUV drivers knock down things and almost hit people because they are up high and can't see. Another thing they need to stop are drivers with loud music, how can the hear what's going on if they play music so loud they can't hear emergency vehicles. All this is a political ploy and nothing else.


The intersections of 96th & Madison Ave as well as 96th & Park Avenue are terrible. The flow of traffic going north, especially at "rush hour" is beyond bad. Cars and trucks regularly do not yield to pedestrians when pedestrians have the right of way. I have been nearly hit 4 times this year alone - once while I was carrying my 1 year old in a baby carrier on my body and once while I was walking my 4 year old across the intersection. A big problem is driver attitudes, particularly during peak rush hours - I was nearly hit the other week by a delivery truck who refused to yield at Madison & 96th (he was attempting to go north). It was my right of way and he was going way too fast. I looked down at his license plate, he noticed and he called out of his window "go ahead, take my plate, you can't do anything and I won't get fired". I was shocked by the experience. Many pedestrians expressed their outrage at him to me when I finally crossed to the other side. But what about this driver - he didn't even care that he almost hit me!


Why isn't anybody talking about the numerous potholes in this city and whats going on with the construction on the brooklkyn bridge it's ridiculuous how long this project is taking place

Eddie from Manhattan

why is no one pointing a finger, even if it's too late, at the real culprit at 96th and broadway -- that would be whomever designed the entrance to the rebuilt station, which can ONLY be accessed by crossing either the very busy uptown or downtown traffic lanes of broadway to reach the center island. Under the old design people could enter the subway from the (relative) safety of the sidewalk stairs on either the east or west sides of Broadway. This new design forces everyone to cross over to the island, which itself gets very congested. BAD, BAD design which should be rethought. THIS is why people are being killed at this corner.

Chris / New York

Pedestrians do not see the arrows for cars waiting to turn, this creates a very dangerous situation. Cars are stopped waiting to turn, the cars going straight have already passed so the pedestrians walk out in front of the turning cars right when they have the green turning light.

The bike lanes have made streets 3 or 2 lanes instead of 5 lanes, so pedestrians now cross or run across the lanes even if they don't have the walk sign.

It's not people driving 30mph that kill pedestrians, it's people speeding and pedestrians not being careful in the intersections. The city needs a campaign to let pedestrians know that cars also have to turn and all cars have blind spots.

Most pedestrians are killed in the crosswalk, this is not caused by speeding but by city not having enough police directing traffic at busy intersections and give pedestrians tickets for jay walking.


I haven't noticed any difference in drivers or cyclists. Why is this a three week initiative? This crackdown should always be happening. People drive unnecessarily fast and go through the lights, not to mention all the one's looking down at their phone.

Tom in Forest Hills

I believe the Vision Zero is a good initiative but we need this level of enforcement to remain constant. We also need to make sure that the city is not spending exorbitant amounts of money to purchase materials to build safety pedestrian Islands like the ones in Park Slope Brooklyn.

I would however like to see a crack down on the private tow truck drivers who drive around with police scanners picking up every accident in the city. I have seen these tow truck drivers travel in speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour and running several traffic lights to get to a accident. They are a menace to pedestrians and other drivers.

Let's also ensure that our police officers are not driving and texting as well.

Park Slope Brooklyn

The worst drivers have always been the young. So hand out as many tickets you want. It won't help.

Richmond Hill Queens.

The ppl and mayor are ignorant to think this situation will be solved if he only cracks down on drivers. The pedestrians are a huge problem. Crack down on the pedestrians. Attach a camera to a car and you'll see how stupid the pedestrians are. Give tickets to the pedestrians and jay walkers.

The absolute craziest thing you'll see is when the parents are pushing a stroller! The parents stand on the sidewalk and the stroller is in the street while they wait for the light!


Pedestrians at 96th and Broadway still do not get it. Most cross without waiting for the crossing signal. They seem to think that if the vehicles going north and south are stopped by a red light, they can walk from one side of Broadway to the other. They do not understand that some vehicles have a green arrow to turn, meaning that pedestrians must wait for the walk signal. I cross there frequently, and I know that pedestrians are crossing at the wrong time.


The problem isn't speed limits, it's the quality of the drivers. America treats driving like it's a God given right. You take a simple easy test once, and that's it. In Europe, students must study intensively to pass a driving theory test, as well as a practical test. Most people fail the first time, some people never pass the test. They take driver training seriously, and they produce better drivers for it. Speed limits in Europe are almost universally higher than they are in America. In Germany, many highways have no speed limits at all. And yet their rates of traffic deaths, both vehicular and pedestrian, are LOWER than in the United States. The solution isn't to make our roads slower. The solution is to take driver training seriously as a learned skill, and not a right.

Sam, Upper West Side.

Its not the drivers its the pedestrians and bicyclists who do not follow their rules....and Im not sure of what crack down you speak of because i do a lot of driving and see no extra enforcement!


As a driver on the UWS, I am often, frightened by sudden bike riders and pedestrians. Food delivery bike riders are a huge hazard and pedestrians with earbuds and phone/texting is hazardous to ME.


What would the reaction be, if NYPD announced a crackdown on catching murderers that was to last only three weeks?

What is needed isn't a "crackdown". What is needed is enforcement by NYPD, day-in, day-out. Only that, will change the unsafe driving behavior that plagues this city, and kills its citizens (mostly elderly and the young), day-in, day-out.

Brooklyn, NY

I think that 3 weeks is too, too short a time for this crackdown. Crackdowns should be done all year round 24/7. Speeding, driving while using a cellphone, texting, etc. is getting out of hand. Hit and runs have increased. Drivers are just not paying attention to the road. They are either speeding, texting, talking on their iphones, drunk, etc. The laws are not strict enough and this will continue and continue.

I have a license, but do not drive because of the anxiety I see on the roads today. It doesn't matter what intersection, road, street, highway, etc, people are still going to speed, talk and text while driving !! There are too many drivers !!

Because this is only a 3 week crackdown, I do think it is to generate revenue.


Hi John,

I believe that it will be to difficult to man all the so called hot spots in the five boroughs. There are to many people in a hurry for one reason or another and they just continue to be reckless while being caught with cell phones, improper turns, disobeying signs and traffic lights, not yielding pedestrians. Also I still have to put the pedestrians on notice because they are careless walking in between streets and roadways and some have children and baby carriages with them. I also believe that this is just another way to generate revenue. Also we must include the bikes and bike riders.

Thank you John,



This is all well and good but they need to crackdown on drivers who jump stop signs , fly through red lights, create their own lanes of traffic, etc. these infractions I see everyday driving to and from work. I have never seen a police car pull anyone over for that, but have a phone in your hand and they'll grab you although drinking hot coffee is all right while driving.

Safe driving is obeying traffic laws and poor driving is not always because a phone is in use or you're driving faster than you should be . Not following rules of the road endangers everyone.

Jessica. Arden Heights.


Once again, I say monitor the intersection of Bennett Street and Heberton Avenue in Staten Island. The city's deficit will be erased.

Ban all bicycles from the streets. They are toys and belong only in parks.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John

I welcome the extra scrutiny because i'm walking with a walker until my legs get stronger and when i cross the street i feel safer because the cars slow down, if it's generating more money for the city that's good. I welcome the three week ticket blitz because the kids will be out of school soon and the crossing guards will be gone, the drivers should slow down around places where the kids congregate and the parents have to keep a eye on the young kids don't let them go anywhere by themselves.


Hi John;

This crackdown is absolutely necessary. Motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are out of control. This is not a revenue boosting intiative; police officers are trying to improve the quality of life as well as saving lives in NYC.

God bless the NYPD.

midtown east


Good!!! crack down on reckless driving. I'm a senior and have to use extra caution while crossing a cross walk because of drivers not obeying the rules. Yes, it will generate revenue for the city. What else is new?

Jamaica, NY

Of course, why not, writing tickets is always a good thing for the city. Why not a ticket blitz for bicycles going the wrong way, riding on sidewalks, running lights, riding in the bus lane, speeding along with the cars, stopping in the crosswalk, so they could be the first to move..... They now have a dedicated lane, at the expense of parked cars and small businesses so they should use it like a motorist.

Just saying.
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