It's no secret that some of the most despised vehicle traffic laws in New York have to do with where and when people can leave their vehicles. In other words, there is nothing more infuriating for many people than getting a parking ticket.
Every morning thousands of parents here in New York and across the country drop their children off at the local school bus stop, trusting that the bus driver will transport their precious cargo to school safely. While this is exactly what happens the overwhelming majority of the time, there are unfortunate exceptions.
From New York to Los Angeles, drivers in any big city are accustomed to dealing with certain realities while navigating their respective streets. One of these realities is that at some moment they will take their eyes off the speedometer and find themselves being handed a speeding ticket by a police officer.
It's horrifying to think that a school bus driver might be drunk on the job. It's almost beyond belief. Yet, a school bus driver on Long Island was recently charged with a DUI after his school bus crashed right into someone's home, and a blood test revealed he was indeed intoxicated.
Most New Yorkers who own cars are very familiar with the wide range of emotions that accompany a parking ticket -- shock, anger, and ultimately acceptance. While many people elect to simply pay the ticket, there are plenty of others who choose to flout the city's vehicle traffic laws by refusing to pay. In fact, there are some whose refusal to pay parking tickets has resulted in the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding fines.
One of the realities of living in a city the size of New York is that you are bound to encounter a television or film crew shooting scenes on a public street sooner or later. Sometimes this can prove to be a real thrill and provide a much-appreciated look at life behind-the-scenes. Other times it can prove to be a real nightmare, tying up traffic and temporarily eliminating entire blocks of valuable parking spots.
Of all the traffic violations that you could be issued here in New York City -- speeding, red light summonses, failure to yield, etc. -- none are perhaps as frustrating as parking tickets. When you see that colored envelope tucked beneath the windshield wiper of your car, your first reaction is probably to utter an otherwise unprintable sequence of words and crumple the ticket in anger.
The New York City Department of Transportation is hoping that a new campaign will decrease pedestrian accidents by increasing pedestrian alertness. The efforts are an alternative to implementing a new vehicle traffic law, and the hope is that a culture change among both pedestrians and drivers is all that is needed to improve safety. Distractions abound in today's mobile society. Consequently, pedestrians face a heightened risk of being involved in an accident due to their inattentive behavior. Whether it's talking or texting on a smart phone, listening to music or becoming otherwise distracted, too many pedestrians are stepping off of curbs into busy traffic without first looking both ways. Now, officials are hopeful that a simple awareness campaign strategy will produce the desired results. The central feature of the campaign is a logo entitled "LOOK," which will be emblazoned onto the crosswalk corners of the city's 110 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians.
According to statistics from state officials, over 300 people are killed and another 6,000 people are injured in drunk driving crashes on New York highways every year. Furthermore, over 50,000 drivers with valid or suspended licenses currently have three or more alcohol-related convictions, while more than 22,000 drunk driving car accidents resulting in 500 fatalities and other serious injuries have been caused by drivers with at least three or more alcohol-related convictions.
Thanks to certain technological advancements, global positioning systems are now standard equipment in many cars, trucks and buses. In fact, these GPS devices have now evolved to such a degree that they can instantaneously find the fastest route to a particular location, identify where traffic has slowed to a crawl and inform the user of existing vehicle traffic laws.