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NYPD Doesn't Give Enough Speeding Tickets, Transportation Alternatives Says

New York's main transportation advocacy group wants the NYPD to give out more speeding tickets.

Transportation Alternatives is putting pressure on the City Council to crack down on dangerous drivers, and is telling the Public Safety Committee today that cops just don't do enough to prevent people from going over the speed limit.

The group, speaking at a budgetary meeting, has cited a stat identifying that four times more tickets are issued yearly for tinted windows than for speeding in precincts (not highways.)

Juan Martinez, general counsel for the group, tells the committee that more than 50 percent of NYPD precincts issued less than two speeding tickets a week.

Martinez insists, however, that speeding is a big problem: From 2001 to 2010, 1,745 pedestrians and cyclists died in traffic-related incidents, while 142,485 got hurt.

By the group's calculations, more New Yorkers were killed in traffic -- 3,647 -- than murdered by guns -- 3,558.

"Traffic is the number one cause of injury and death for kids 14 and under in New York City," he says.

And most of these crashes -- over 60 percent -- stem from speeding, distracted driving, or failure to yield. But speeding is the deadliest of drivers' vices: in 2010 alone, speeding lead to the deaths of 45 people.

On the issue of windows, he says:

"We are not aware of any crashes caused by tinted windows. Tinted windows may be a safety concern -- but it cannot be a greater safety concern than speeding. In 2011, however, NYPD precincts issued four times as many tickets for tinted windows as for speeding -- 16,300 speeding tickets as compared to 65,900 tinted windows tickets."

Martinez's testimony, furnished to Runnin' Scared by Transportation Alternatives, follows extensive recent controversy surrounding the NYPD's handling of bike and pedestrian accidents, notably in light of the department's mishandling of the Mathieu Lefevre investigation.

These chancy road conditions have not simply prompted Council hearing on the Lefevre case, but the development of a non-commercial web portal to help accident victims.

Runnin' Scared reached out to Peter F. Vallone, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, and Martinez. We'll update when we hear back.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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