Over the past year, the Department of Transportation has been making a concerted effort to crack down on certain dangerous and illegal driving practices by New Yorkers, including texting while driving, drunk driving and even driving with tinted windows. To date, these enforcement efforts have been successful, very likely contributing to the record low in traffic fatalities reached in 2011. However, some safety advocates are now arguing that these stepped up enforcement efforts have somehow managed to overlook a major cause of many serious and fatal accidents -- speeding.
According to a recent report by the nonprofit safety group Transportation Alternatives, motorists in New York City now have a much better chance of getting a ticket for texting while driving, drunk driving or driving with tinted windows than they do for speeding.
Consider the following findings by Transportation Alternatives:
- In 2011, over half of New York police precincts issued less than two speeding tickets a week
- In 2011, the NYPD issued 65,900 tickets for tinted windows versus 16,300 speeding tickets
This is significant because speeding continues to be identified as the traffic violation responsible for the most fatalities in the five boroughs. Indeed, speeding was identified as a primary cause in many of the 142,485 injuries and 1,745 pedestrian/bicycle fatalities on New York streets over the last decade.
Transportation Alternatives concedes that the city has made great strides in improving safety through the installation of red light cameras and improved road design. However, they feel that more work must be done by the police department to address the specific problem of speeding.
"Safer street designs have made the biggest impact on safety," said Michael Murphy, a spokesperson for the group. "But street designs can only go so far, and that's why we need the NYPD to finally adopt a zero tolerance policy for dangerous driving."
Here, Transportation Alternatives is calling for the NYPD's Transportation Bureau to receive more funding and for the unit to use this additional funding to focus on speeding enforcement.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Are the authorities doing too much or too little to address speeding?
Stay tuned for further updates from our New York traffic law blog ...
If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket, don't just dismiss it.
Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Queens Chronicle, "Speeding number one killer in traffic" March 22, 2012