NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD is cracking down on speeding and other infractions as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to cut down on traffic injuries and deaths.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, New York City drivers might want to hit the brakes and really pay attention to the rules of the road, because. The NYPD is vowing to issue more tickets.
“I think it’s a good idea as long as they’re given out fairly and not overzealously,” one driver said.
“What are they going to do, make life more difficult?” another said.
It is all part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to make the streets safer across all five boroughs.
“You’re going to see an expanded NYPD focus on stopping this reckless behavior that’s taking lives,” de Blasio said.
The crackdown will focus on offenses such a speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, texting while driving, and drunken driving.
The NYPD said it issued a record 137,000 speeding tickets along last year, and that will continue.
Police said turning vehicles are one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents.
“If we slow down at the turns — left turn, right turn — we’re going to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities dramatically,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, “but we need the cooperation of all New Yorkers.”
Pedestrian Jay Cooper said speeding is an issue on the Upper West Side.
“The crossing guards do a great job, but it’s basically a traffic nightmare here at 96th and Broadway,” Cooper said.
To help in the effort, the mayor’s proposed budget has several Vision Zero initiatives, including 120 new radar guns for local precincts.
De Blasio said police will go after cyclists if they violate the law. He also asked pedestrians to pay more attention to their new surroundings, but he said the people behind the wheel are the biggest issue.
“The number one problem is reckless drivers,” de Blasio said. “They’re the ones with two tons of steel at their disposal.”
Mayor de Blasio said there have been 15 traffic-related deaths so far this year – the same number as this time last year. He said the mission is to make sure the number goes down.
The city Department of Transportation said in the three ye3ars since Vision Zero began, traffic deaths are down more than 20 percent.