The 70th Precinct (which covers Ditmas Park) has improved more than the other 12 precincts in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South when it comes to the number of summonses issued for failure to yield, according to Transportation Alternative’s new study of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative that aims to dramatically reduce traffic-related fatalities over the next decade.
The transportation advocacy group’s “Six Months of Vision Zero Traffic Enforcement” report (which can be read in full here) notes that, since the mayor launched Vision Zero in January, enforcement of the most dangerous traffic violations has skyrocketed. Citywide, police officers have issued 32 percent more summonses for speeding and 153 percent more summonses for failure to yield. Transportation Alternatives compared data from January to June of this year as compared to the same six months in 2013.
Still, the group stresses that these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt and noted that while some precincts excel (and therefore buoy citywide averages), other precincts have actually issued fewer summonses than in prior years.
For example, the 76th Precinct (which covers such neighborhoods as Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, and Sunset Park), was named the worst when it came to handing out summonses for both speeding and failure to yield, according to the TA report. (The group listed the 67th Precinct as having the largest increase in speeding summonses as compared to last year.)
The 76th Precinct handed out 88 summonses for failure to yield from January to June of this year – a decrease of 23 summonses over the 111 that were handed out last year. For speeding, the 76th had an increase – but that increase of 9 summonses (from 85 to 94) was the smallest among the others in Brooklyn South.
Meanwhile, the 70th Precinct issued 375 summonses for failure to yield from January to June of this year – compared to 112 last year. And, for speeding, the 70th gave out 224 summonses this year, compared to 107 last year.
“T.A.’s investigation shows that only some NYPD precincts are flying the Vision Zero banner,” the group stated on its website. “With the most effectual precincts adjacent to some of the least, a different standard could be less than a mile’s drive away.”
And the group went on to state that:
Experts agree that consistency is what makes policing effective. Inconsistency in the NYPD’s Vision Zero effort makes even the most heroic precincts’ efforts less effective. The next step for the NYPD is clear: Each borough needs a dedicated commander to make sure life-saving precincts keep up the good work and make sure every other precinct follows suit.
Transportation Alternatives provided a couple of suggestions that it believes will help better protect pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers:
- Create an executive officer for each borough command who would report to NYPD Chief of Transportation to better coordinate enforcement efforts.
- Educate officers about “lifesaving impact of Vision Zero enforcement operations.”
- Emphasize the most dangerous violations in each borough command.
What do you think? Have you seen a difference in street safety since January? What do you think needs to happen to make our streets safer?
Photo by Matt Landfield