NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a problem CBS2 first showed you last week.
Private garbage trucks barreling down city streets in the wee hours of the morning, violating all kinds of traffic laws.
They’ve been caught running red lights, reversing down one way streets, speeding, and worse.
Now, the NYPD has announced a citywide crackdown.
“The NYPD is taking aim at the private carting industry that has been operating recklessly in New York City and whose constant disregard for the law has proven fatal,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.
“We will not tolerate people getting killed crossing the street, crushed by 50,000 pounds of metal bearing down on them.”
The department has decided to mount the crackdown after officers the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side mounted a sting operation. They discovered that trying to find garbage truck drivers violating the law was more like shooting fish in a barrel.
With CBS2’s Marcia Kramer tagging along, cops handed out 47 summonses for serious violations in just a few hours.
“Since 2016, we attribute up to 20 fatalities to vehicles associated with this industry,” Chief Monahan detailed.
“When you factor in faulty equipment, such as worn out brakes, these 25-ton trucks become death traps.”
“I’ve seen that the drivers get more than one ticket in a given night. What do the drivers have to do to lose their license?” Marcia Kramer asked the NYPD.
“Any driver out there is responsible as a motor vehicle operator and is subject to suspension if they do not follow the rules,” NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan replied.
The crackdown will reportedly last all week, with officers issuing tickets from 4 p.m. until dawn each day. Authorities said there are 7,000 carting trucks on the road; some doing commercial garbage and others picking up construction debris.