In London They Summons Their Own


Remember, after the launch of the Uncivil Servants web site last spring, the retired NYPD officer who wrote, "Ungrateful Liberal Scum… we do not summons our own!" We were reminded of that infamous and highly entertaining NYPD rant after Sean Roche of Newton Streets and Sidewalks forwarded along this news story from London where city police are racking up nearly £900 a day in traffic tickets (that is $1,816 thanks to the plummeting U.S. dollar):

Police drivers in London are fined almost £900 every day for offences including parking illegally, speeding and ignoring bus lanes.

The Metropolitan Police paid £325,563 in vehicle fixed penalty notices in the last financial year. The figure, revealed in new budget documents, was an increase of a third on the previous year when police coughed up £245,377 in fines.

Penalties were imposed because of illegal parking, speeding, driving in bus lanes, red route offences and driving the wrong way up one way streets.

Tickets issued to the drivers of vehicles responding to emergencies or on operations are cancelled by Transport for London and local authorities. But there are no exemptions for police drivers caught breaking the law in other circumstances.

Photo: Ryan van Laar/Flickr

  • lee

    ill bet the nypd gets beemers before they start ticketing their own.

  • MrManhattan

    One primary problem here is that most NYC cops are from outside NYC.

    We (as New Yorkers) can make all the rules we want. If the people enforcing those rules don’t think they should apply, there’s nothing we can do about it. Americans love their cars, and the vast majority of our police are from AMERICA.

    How many pot arrests would you expect if most of our cops were Rastas from Jamaica??

    Same thing.

    Where most of our police come from, driving a car is just a natural, even essential, part of life, to their minds it couldn’t possibly be a crime. (until someone is dead)

    How do we expect them to enforce laws that seem arbitrary and irrelevant to their society, no matter how critical they may be to ours?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure both the Rockland cops and the Rasta cops would equally protect us from murder, robbery and rape. (and we thank them and are indebted to them for it), since there are many universal values we all hold as human beings.

    But to expect an American to punish someone for a crime involving a car that didn’t result in death would be like expecting a Rasta to bust someone for a joint.

    It’s just against both their culture and national identity to do it.

  • Dave

    I think part of the reason this is possible in London is that they aren’t summonsing their own: TfL (something like the DoT or MTA here) I think is responsible for issuing tickets for most minor motor vehicle violations, not the Metropolitan Police.

  • JF

    Until recently the traffic cops (“Brownies” after the color of their uniforms) were under control of the DOT, but Giuliani merged them (along with the transit police and school security) into the NYPD. I know that the Brownies were hated and harassed by the NYPD, but did they actually enforce any laws against them? Did Giuliani make this worse by bringing the Brownies behind the “Blue Wall” of the NYPD?

  • Hilary

    As I was crossing the West Side Highway, a traffic policewoman was yelling at a driver on her cell phone. I asked her why she didn’t give her a ticket, and she said she wasn’t allowed. It seems there could be efficiencies gained if the officers we stick in the middle of traffic were authorized to enforce traffic laws. I think speeding on the city’s ‘state highways’ can only be enforced by special highway police. And am I right that there are a lot of people in uniforms out there who actually have no authority – like auxiliary cops or crossing guards? We have this huge illusion of enforcement out there, largely as a result of 9/11, at the same time it seems like empty show.


NYPD Can’t Answer Questions About Traffic Crime

There’s a speeding epidemic on New York City streets, but does NYPD know how big the problem is? Photo: TA. The Times recently launched a couple of new blogs devoted to neighborhood coverage, and today the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill outlet posted an interesting Q&A with officers at the 88th Precinct. Here’s a revealing answer from […]

Park Slope Cop Brings About Sidewalk Cycling, Then Tickets It

We at Streetsblog aren’t big fans of sidewalk bike riding. As we’ve said before, if the police truly must take time away from targeting the most dangerous traffic crimes, like motorist speeding and failure-to-yield, sidewalk riding is the kind of infraction for them to worry about. Pedestrian space is scarce enough in New York City. […]

TA Outlines a Traffic Enforcement Strategy as NYPD Feels the Heat

Following up on its report highlighting NYPD’s lack of meaningful traffic enforcement and a street safety forum featuring former police commissioner Bill Bratton, Transportation Alternatives released a report yesterday [PDF] outlining case studies of effective traffic enforcement. The report gives Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his next police commissioner a broad strategy to help achieve de Blasio’s […]

Waiting for Raymond: New Yorkers Want Zero Tolerance for Speeding

Have a look at the un-scientific poll nested inside Michael Daly’s excellent Daily News column on speeding enforcement (penned in response to the case of Eric Hakimisefat, the 16-year-old un-licensed driver who killed a passenger after reaching 63 mph on a Midwood street and crashing into a tree). Currently, two-thirds of respondents think that all […]