Transportation Alternatives observed nearly nine in ten Brooklyn motorists breaking the speed limit while compiling data for its new report on dangerous driving [PDF], but enforcement from NYPD remains almost non-existent. In fact, TA says it clocked more drivers speeding in 12 hours than NYPD ticketed in all of 2011. That’s why speed cameras are necessary for city streets.
In 2011, 79 people died and more than 23,000 were injured on Brooklyn’s streets. Speeding was the leading cause of New York City traffic deaths last year, contributing to 81 fatal crashes, according to DOT, and TA says speeding kills more New Yorkers than drunk driving and distracted driving combined.
For its survey, TA measured the speed of rush hour drivers at locations in Bay Ridge, Canarsie, Greenpoint, and Midwood over the course of ten days between September 2012 and April 2013 [PDF]. The vast majority of drivers were breaking the citywide 30 mph speed limit, with approximately one in three drivers going 40 mph or more. In Greenpoint, nearly half of all drivers were speeding 10 mph or more above the limit.
Meanwhile, NYPD speed enforcement has been lackluster at best, with Brooklyn precincts issuing 2,028 speeding tickets in 2011. Bushwick’s 83rd Precinct issued only eight speeding tickets the entire year, according to a Daily News analysis. TA reports clocking 2,232 speeding drivers during its 12 hours of surveying, so the lack of tickets isn’t due to a lack of violations. In fact, NYPD has been issuing fewer speeding tickets each year.
The report is explicit about the need for automated enforcement. Efforts earlier this year to pass speed camera legislation were opposed by State Senators Marty Golden and Simcha Felder, both of Brooklyn. A new bill enabling speed cameras in NYC school zones has the support of Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein and the majority of the city’s Assembly delegation. The legislative session is scheduled to wrap up Thursday.