Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
The city is on track to have the lowest number of traffic fatalities in a century. But cycling advocates say the NYPD can crackdown even harder.
Approximately, 214 people have died in traffic accidents so far this year. This number includes pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers, according to the NYPD. This time last year that number was 256 deaths.
But Noah Budnick, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, said the number is still too high, adding it exceeds the number killed by guns.
"Like the other crime and public safety issues that the NYPD solves, traffic deaths and injuries are preventable. New Yorkers deserve more leadership than Ray Kelly’s acceptance of the status quo," Budnick said.
He noted Mayor Michael Bloomberg's philanthropy has contributed some $125 million to reduce traffic deaths in third world countries.
But, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said police have issued 770,000 summons for moving violations this year, and that traffic accidents have declined by almost half over the last ten years.
In an email, Browne stated "The department has seized 1,363 vehicles in connection with DWI and other offenses. Over 21,000 vehicles have been seized since the program began in 1999. We regularly stop and summons drivers for unsafe, accident-related practices such as use of a hand-held phones while driving."