68th Precinct ramps up traffic enforcement

November 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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In the wake of several serious automobile collisions with pedestrians, including some fatalities, and cries from the community for safer streets, the 68th Precinct has increased the amount of tickets given for speeding by nearly 100 percent between December, 2012 and August, 2013.

According to a study by Transportation Alternatives, the 68th Precinct – which serves Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton – gave out three traffic tickets last December, five tickets in January, six in February and in March. But in April, that number skyrocketed to 72, followed by 35 tickets issued in May, 21 in June, 65 in July and 43 in August.

“Transportation Alternatives applauds the NYPD’s groundbreaking speeding enforcement initiative. We call on the next mayor to appoint a police commissioner who will use data-driven enforcement across the five boroughs to target most dangerous traffic infractions – speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.

According to NYPD and Department of Motor Vehicles data, speeding is the most deadly traffic violation in the city. A pedestrian struck by a car driving 40 miles per hour has an 80 percent chance of dying, while a person hit by a car traveling at the speed limit of 30 miles per hour has a 70 percent chance of surviving.

“Speeding enforcement improves communities. Every neighborhood is plagued by speeders, and unfortunately, many New Yorkers are personally affected by traffic violence,” White said. “A new poll found that one in three people know someone who have been seriously injured in a traffic crash or know someone who’s been injured or killed in traffic. Traffic is also the number-one cause of preventable deaths for New York City kids. This needs to stop.”

Deputy Inspector Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, told members of the precinct’s community council in the middle of October that, overall, collisions in the precinct were down 1.9 percent for 2013.

That said, he stressed, “We do enforcement. We write certain summonses. We look for certain infractions because we know those infractions are the direct cause of injuries.”

Among these, DiBlasio said, are not only speeding but talking on handheld cell phones, not wearing seat belts, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and texting, something, DiBlasio pointed out, that is done by drivers and pedestrians alike.

Noting, “For the most part, it’s vehicles,” DiBlasio said that pedestrians also “have to pay attention to where they are going. We have a lot of accidents caused by both sides. We have had some very serious injuries.”

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