Most stories about police chases inevitably seem to involve speeding suspects who are fleeing the scene of a crime or drunk drivers who are oblivious to the flashing lights and sirens around them. However, a recent incident out of Miami has put an interesting twist on this typical news story.
For many motorists, red-light traffic cameras are the bane of their existence, recording and issuing extremely costly traffic violations for a momentary lapse in judgment. In fact, motorists aren't the only ones who have taken issue with red-light traffic cameras. Both highway safety advocates and other privately funded groups have disputed the efficacy of the cameras in terms of preventing accidents.
From busy streets and pushy pedestrians to noisy neighbors and crowded subways, there are certain realities of big city life that most New Yorkers simply accept as being unavoidable. Interestingly, there is one such "reality" of New York living that city officials are now attempting to eliminate altogether through a very unlikely mechanism: a traffic violation.
One of New York's better-known - and perhaps infamous - vehicle traffic laws is the prohibition against texting while driving. Originally passed in November 2009, the law (which has since been amended) makes texting while driving a primary offense. This means that any law enforcement official in the state of New York can currently stop and ticket a motorist solely for texting while driving.
Most National Football League (NFL) fans know Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson for his pure speed and punishing style of play. However, police in a Minneapolis suburb - looking to tackle a statewide problem - put the brakes on Peterson earlier this week, issuing him a traffic violation for failing to wear a seat belt.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has increased the number of texting-while-driving tickets it has been issuing recently. Within the first eight months of this year, NYPD has already issued 1,857 tickets, up from the 1,631 tickets it gave out in all of 2010. This 14 percent increase is partially due to a change in the texting-while-driving ban.
In previous posts, we've discussed how a routine internal investigation of a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer turned into a large-scale probe of hundreds of police officers accused of "fixing" traffic violations for friends or family.
If you have ever been pulled over for speeding, several thoughts likely go through your mind. The first is more than likely, "why me?" or "why today?" The second is likely, "why do the police in this city always unfairly target this area?"
In these tough economic times, several major U.S. cities have found a new cash cow: Red light cameras that are bringing in big bucks every time they film a traffic violation.In fact, our very own New York City has found that red light cameras are a big source of extra income. How big? Last year, the city nabbed more than $52 million in fines, according to a recent story in the New York Daily News.The cameras, mounted at busy intersections, routinely film motorists as they are running red lights. In fact, there are now 150 red light cameras in our fair city.
You may want to keep one eye on your speedometer for the remainder of the week as law enforcement agencies will be devoting significant time and energy into catching speeding motorists on New York's many streets, highways and freeways.