NYPD Still Withholds Crucial Traffic Enforcement Data From the Public

How effective is NYPD traffic enforcement? Are police enforcement actions making city streets safer and reducing injuries and fatalities? The public doesn’t know, because the enforcement data released by NYPD is extremely shallow.

Witness the numbers NYPD handed over to the Times about a recent five-day “Bicycle Safe Passage” enforcement action (above), which took place from June 20 to June 24. The figures show citywide summonses during that period for red light-running, failure to yield to cyclists and pedestrians, blocking bike lanes, no-standing zone violations, and double-parking compared to the same five-day period in 2014.

But simply counting tickets is not sufficient. It doesn’t tell you where the summonses were issued, how that correlates to dangerous locations, or whether the enforcement had any impact on motorist behavior and traffic injury rates.

For years, advocates and elected officials have called on NYPD to release more detailed summons data. Right now, the department doesn’t put out anything more detailed than precinct-by-precinct summaries of summonses. The data doesn’t show the streets and intersections where police issue tickets.

If NYPD mapped its summons activity, then the public could see, for instance, whether enforcement patterns are linked to frequent crash locations.

But NYPD has repeatedly resisted the notion that it should provide more detailed information on its traffic enforcement practices. Even in the Vision Zero era, the department is still pointing to ticket counts as proof that police are protecting the public from dangerous driving, rather than giving the public a full accounting of how it is applying traffic laws.

  • Vooch

    a Rouge organization; at some point Reform will be impossible and disbanding tge only solution and revive the Metropolitan Police

  • BBnet3000

    So they did a single week of claiming to protect a group of vulnerable road users, in a completely scattershot way and can’t show that it had any effect.

    Enforcement does seem to be a lost cause and at best would be a lot less important than design. We need higher quality separated bike facilities and filtered routes, and we need them on streets that actually connect places, not out in the boonies.

  • Ed

    They do not enforce double yellow lines, U turns speeding blocking lanes,double parking, bike lanes etc.
    Most of the time it is the police breaking the law so why should they enforce!

  • Andrew

    Seriously? The NYPD is bragging about 217 red light tickets per day and 162 failure-to-yield tickets per day citywide – during an explicit ticket blitz?

    A 39% or 59% increase on exceedingly inadequate enforcement is only slightly less exceedingly inadequate.

    Get serious. No driver is going to start yielding to pedestrians over a fear of being one of 162 daily unlucky drivers during a period of souped-up enforcement (or 102 on a typical day).

  • Kevin Love

    Yes, this. Concrete and steel do a much better job of policing than NYPD. With the added bonus that concrete and steel don’t care about anyone’s racial or ethnic identity, unlike NYPD.

  • neroden

    At what point does their concealment of information become a prosecutable crimninal conspiracy by the NYPD?

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