Traffic Tickets Are Up Across the City

Tickets for the most dangerous moving violations are up across New York City. A WNYC analysis of new NYPD data shows that in February, most precincts stepped up enforcement of speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and failure to stop at traffic signals.

It’s worth digging a little deeper into the numbers. Some precincts wrote 10 times more tickets this February than they did in February 2013. But that’s because ticketing last year was strikingly low. In Brooklyn’s 84th precinct, which covers Boerum Hill and Brooklyn Heights, officers wrote just 10 tickets for speeding, failure to yield and ignoring a signal combined. This year, they have issued more than 100.

In the Upper West Side’s 24th precinct, where three people were killed in early January, officers wrote 64 tickets in those three major categories, compared to 47 last year. In the 71st precinct in Crown Heights , where a 5-year-old was killed Sunday night, tickets nearly tripled, from 73 to 213. The 110th precinct in Queens, which contains three major thoroughfares (Roosevelt Avenue, Broadway, and Queens Boulevard) wrote the most tickets—317—but that was slightly fewer than the February 2013 total of 340. The 111th precinct, which is in a residential part of Queens, wrote the fewest—just 21 for the month.

February 2014 was the first month the NYPD was operating under the mayor’s 63-point Vision Zero plan (pdf), which calls on police to “[increase] enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving.”  The plan also specifically directs police to “increase speeding enforcement at the precinct level.”

Speaking before the City Council in February, Chief Thomas Chan, head of the NYPD Transit Bureau, said that the ramped-up enforcement would be folded into routine patrol duties, and would not require additional resources.