The NYPD wrote 7,000 speeding tickets last week and will likely issue even more next week, because we are entering a dangerous time of year for cars striking pedestrians. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
It's the time of year when the days get shorter, and so the NYPD and Transportation Department say drivers need to pay even more attention and slow it down.
"Put your phone away, put your lipstick down, put that coffee down, put your hands on the wheel, put your mind engaged on the task of driving," said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
The police will be writing more traffic tickets in the coming weeks. This is why: pedestrian deaths soar when the clocks are rolled back one hour in the fall, and it gets dark between 4 and 5 p.m. 40 percent of the pedestrians killed by vehicles in 2015 were hit from October through December.
"During these hours, it is more problematic," said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. "They have to slow down and really pay attention, especially making left turns, turns into intersections. A very dangerous time for our pedestrians."
And often, senior citizens are the victims.
"You have mobility issues, and senses are a little off. It is a little slower. It is even more perilous. The streets are perilous," said Donna Corrado, commissioner of the Department for the Aging.
So far this year, there have been 192 traffic fatalities - that's pedestrians and people in vehicles - up from 178 in the same period last year, the lowest year ever.
This year's increase comes despite the mayor's multimillion-dollar Vision Zero program to end pedestrian deaths.
As the city encourages those behind the wheel to be cautious, drivers often complain it is the bikers and pedestrians who are reckless,.
The NYPD says far too many people cross the street when they shouldn't or are focused on their cellphones, but drivers must be aware of that
"A collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle, the pedestrian loses every time," Chan said.
That is a harsh reality for Amy Cohen whose son was killed. A driver didn't see him running after a soccer ball.
"Sammy was not just a statistic," Cohen said. "Three years ago, he was killed in the fall at dusk by a speeding driver who was not paying attention."
The city says along with writing tickets, there will ads and fliers educating drivers and pedestrians to help save lives.