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NYPD Cracks Down On Reckless Driving In Weeklong Effort

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has launched a weeklong crackdown on reckless driving – targeting infractions including speeding, running red lights, and texting behind the wheel.

The effort began at midnight Monday morning, and will run through Sunday, June 1. Enforcement will be conducted in 21 precincts throughout the five boroughs, and will also focus on making improper turns, disobeying traffic signs, and failing to yield to pedestrians.

Enforcement will also focus on parking violations that create roadway hazards, including double parking, and parking in bus stops or crosswalks.

As CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported, the initiative began just as a man was struck and injured by a car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Around 12:30 a.m., the man was struck by a black sedan at Atlantic and Bedford avenues in Brooklyn. The victim was taken to Interfaith Medical Center in critical condition, and police believe the driver was drunk at the time.

The driver was taken into custody after the incident, police said.

Later in the day Monday, drivers at the intersection complained that electronic signs and speed cameras are not enough to stop aggressive drivers.

“Definitely it’s a speedway in the morning,” said Nancy Branch.

Meanwhile, police said reckless driving in the form of speeding may have been to blame for a crash early Sunday on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.

The driver of a 2013 Acura slammed into a tree on Ocean Parkway between Avenue O and Avenue P in the Midwood section of Brooklyn at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. The car was reduced to a pile of mangled metal.

Police said a 21-year-old passenger in the front seat of the car was in critical condition with head trauma at Kings County Hospital. The 24-year-old driver and a 20-year-old passenger were listed in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center, 1010 WINS reported.

The NYPD was trying to prevent similar incidents with the latest crackdown – the third crackdown on traffic violations in recent weeks.

And this past Tuesday night – in the middle of another traffic safety initiative – CBS 2’s cameras caught a number of drivers who failed to even attempt to obey the law. Car after car blew through a stop sign at the intersection of Grand and Rugby avenues in the Grymes Hill section of Staten Island, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

Donovan Clarke of Bedford-Stuyvesant said the crackdown on reckless driving is much welcome.

“If it means that they have to get a ticket to prevent them from doing what they’re doing, that it’s necessary,” Clarke said. “I strongly support that; I have no issue with that at all.”

Carl Patterson of Bedford-Stuyvesant said a crackdown on illegal parking is also much warranted.

“They need to crack down on the double parking and stuff, because they made these bikes lanes now, and there’s only so much room in the lanes,” Patterson said. “So by them double parking, it’s causing traffic back up.”

But as 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported Monday morning, some motorists were on the defensive at 96th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side – an intersection that has been the subject of crackdowns on jaywalking and motor vehicle violations.

They said pedestrians are the ones who need to be more careful.

“I would just say to anyone walking across the street, you know, be aware,” a man said.

“People will literally, they’ll walk on, when I have a green and they’ve got the red for the walking, they’ll walk and flip me the bird and say, ‘No, you wait for me, I’ve got the right,’ and they just give me a look like, ‘I’m walking,’” another man said.

All of the crackdowns have been part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate pedestrian deaths.

Initially, the NYPD said Thomas Chan insisted that the new focus on traffic safety would apply to every officer every day, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“The vehicle in front of them fails to yield a pedestrian, he can pull that vehicle over,” Chan said at a City Council hearing in February. “We don’t need to set up an operation for that. They can do that on routine patrol.”

But police have elected to conduct crackdowns in the time since Vision Zero was launched.

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