The Post Imagines a Nightmare City Where All Speeders Get Caught

Actual New York Post headline
Actual New York Post headline

You have to feel sorry for the three — three! — New York Post reporters stuck with attacking Mayor de Blasio for NYPD enforcement of the speed limit. It’s a story package so fatuous it could only have come from the Post editorial braintrust.

What else could explain the manufactured fury over last November’s uptick in summonses, when each precinct ticketed an average of six speeding drivers a day, up from three. Or the sob story of an ambulette fleet owner who freely acknowledges that his employees ignore the speed limit to such an extent that the fines are hurting his bottom line.

The most ill-conceived react quotes come from bridge painter Dino Ioannou, who the Post says was cited for driving 29 miles per hour on a Grand Central Parkway service road. Ioannou has two children, the Post says, and for good measure includes a quote confirming same.

“They’ve been pulling everybody over since the day [the law] went into effect,” he said. “It’s more than an inconvenience. I have two kids. That money could have went toward diapers.”

Post editors and reporters should know that those who led the fight to get the NYC speed limit lowered to 25 mph were people who lost their own children to reckless drivers. Speeding is the leading cause of New York City traffic deaths. Using kids to excuse someone from being penalized for speeding is more than insensitive, it also disregards the reason speed enforcement is important in the first place.

Of course, Mayor de Blasio should not have pledged to “go easy” on speeding drivers. But hammering the mayor for making streets safer only makes the Post look silly.

Imagine how horrible New York City would be if police handed out tickets to everyone driving 29 miles per hour. A city where road rage has no place and children and seniors walk the streets without constant risk of death. This is the nightmare scenario keeping the editors of the New York Post awake at night.

  • Eric McClure

    A paper unfit for puppy-training.

  • red_greenlight1

    Can we just start ignoring the Post please? 90% of people knows it’s pure bull. The other 10% either work for it or are just lacking in intelligence. The sooner we all ignore the sooner it goes away. Every time we try and rebuke an article in it we give it credibility which is the last thing we want.

  • qrt145

    How many NY Post reporters does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Three. One to actually change the lightbulb while two more figure out ways of blaming the Mayor.

  • Unsubscribe

    “Ha ha ha! The Post is so great! Did you see their clever cover? What a pun!” said a lot of people who don’t understand how much the New York Post hates New York City.

  • Joe R.

    A part of me thinks de Blasio planned this all out. Not that I have much sympathy, but of all the tickets a driver can get, typically ones for going 5 to 10 mph over the limit don’t do a thing for safety, but they anger the heck out of motorists. It’s sort of like when a cyclist gets a ticket for slow rolling through a red light. They know what they’re doing isn’t dangerous, and are rightly incensed at what they see as a BS ticket. Anyway, here’s how I see it. Mayor de Blasio supposedly supported Vision Zero to help get elected but his heart wasn’t in it. The lowering of the speed limit, the speed cameras, the increased enforcement of speeding were all things which he knew would ultimately result in the backlash we’re starting to see now. Had he told the police to emphasize things like failure to yield, reckless driving, using cell phones, etc. then the drivers caught might well not get a whole lot of sympathy, even from other drivers. And ironically these things would probably do more for safety than speeding enforcement. Of course, I suspect the emphasis on speeding precisely because Vision Zero was just an empty campaign promise. Who knows, maybe next election he’ll campaign as the mayor who raised the speed limit to 30 or 35 mph, stopped speeding enforcement, and dismantled the fledgling Vision Zero program. I may be wrong, indeed I honestly feel he’s probably not bright enough to have planned it all to this level, but you never know.

    Bottom line-how about we put a lot more emphasis on enforcing the other things I mentioned instead of mostly speed enforcement? You can still ticket reckless cases of speeding, like 20 or 25 over, but if we shifted to the things I mentioned motorists won’t have a leg to stand on if they complain. Seriously, a driver complaining they got a ticket for bullying a crossing pedestrian out of the way will most likely have a majority saying he/she deserved it.

  • Guest

    Personally I think his motivation was more around raising revenue then around whether he really cares one way or the other about Vision Zero, but I think that puts me in the same end point as you.

    +1 on where enforcement should be targeted instead.

  • Joe R.

    The comment from the ambulette fleet owner was priceless. He owns 160 ambulettes. I wouldn’t be surprised if his profit is well into the six figures per week. Sure, $2,000 a week might be noticeable on his bottom line, but I doubt he’s hurting all that much. If it was really that big of an expense, he would make his drivers personally responsible for speeding tickets.

  • qrt145

    I hope you are right, but I’m afraid you might be underestimating the influence of a paper with a daily circulation of about 0.5 million.

  • Unsubscribe

    Many members of NYC’s political class are about as smart as the average Post reader and take the paper’s “news” coverage very seriously.

    And even if some leaders know the Post is garbage, these politicians live in fear of running afoul of its editorial board. We need more people exposing how crappy the Post is and how bad it is for NYC, not fewer.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    since all of his income is coming from the city can’t we void his contracts based on his company’s poor performance in adhering to traffic laws?

  • c2check

    I imagine speed is much easier to enforce than the other issues (though even speed is lacking in enforcement, if you ask me; and even people who actually hit pedestrians are often given little more than a slap on the wrist, as longtime Streetsblog readers will know).

    I wouldn’t say that speeding 5–10 mph over the speed limit has no safety impact, though.

    Personally, I think some people lacking in patience and common courtesy should simply not be allowed to drive. (Of course, unfortunately that would be even harder to enforce.)

  • Joe R.

    There’s no arguing even at current levels speeding enforcement is low but what I’m trying to say here is for every speeding ticket there should be 10 or 20 given for failure to yield, distracted driving, reckless lane changing, etc. You’re correct that speeding is the easiest to enforce, probably also the hardest for the driver to beat in court.

    Others have said it but I think if we had a system similar to Compstat for traffic violence you might see the NYPD start to enforce the things which matter more, in fact start to enforce all traffic laws a lot more.

  • red_greenlight1

    I view their readership as people who were left behind years ago yelling at changes. Despite their limited readership Vision Zero and transit improvements have gone regardless.

  • walks bikes drives

    He should not be allowed to use city contract money to pay fines. All fines should be proven to come from another source or should be deducted from the allocation amount.

  • walks bikes drives

    Speeding is also the one infraction that is usually sustained. For example, a driver speeding will likely be speeding over a distance of several miles or more. The other infractions are mere moments and less likely to be witnessed. In some ways, it is a broken windows approach.

  • JudenChino

    Ok, can we just call out the bullshit please. And by that, I mean, Nobody is getting a speeding ticket for going 29 mph in a 25 mph zone. Ok! That’s a lie. That’s just not happening. The cop who supposedly “felt bad” for giving a 4 mph over tix, either (i) doesn’t exist (since, said cop would’ve waited 5 seconds to find someone actually going more than just 4mph over the speed limit) or (ii) wrote down the tix as only 4mph over as a courtesy.

  • Guest

    It’s also the one infraction that can’t cause a collision on it’s own. If you speed but follow every other traffic law, you won’t hit anything. If you run a red light at 25, the odds aren’t quite as good.

  • dporpentine

    Exactly. I mean: exactly.

  • AnoNYC

    Speeding reduces reaction time, this increases the opportunity for collision.

  • armyvet00

    Was *certainly* a drop as a courtesy. Not that the Post asked what speed he might have actually been traveling.

  • walks bikes drives

    Not exactly true. Traveling above the speed limit can cause accidents by drivers judging speed based on rated speed, and therefor misjudging actual speed and pulling out in front of the speeding vehicle. Also, faster speeds mean longer distances to slow down and a greater vector change when reacting to or encountering road hazards. It also encourages aggressive driving because, if all traffic was travelling at the speed limit, traffic is more predictable.

  • Maggie

    Yeah, the 20th Precinct in Manhattan (West 59th to West 86th, Central Park to Hudson River) wrote all of 16 speeding tickets in January, and I think 7 – SEVEN – tickets over a 28-day period into February. My blood pressure spikes just thinking about it. They are still claiming that not enough officers are trained in the proper use of a radar gun. How hard can this training possibly be? If every officer is trained in the use of an actual gun, and now being trained to not choke civilians to death on the sidewalk, I’d like to see all police officers learn the magic, mystical art of radar gun usage.

    Or, get our speed cameras operating 24-7. I have to dig up the stats again on how many violations the cameras caught last year, versus the cops; they were so staggering.

  • qrt145

    I read somewhere that it takes years of practice to master shooting an English longbow. Given that radar guns are much more technically complex than a longbow, I imagine it would take at least a millennium or two to figure out how to operate a radar gun.

  • Paul

    I’m a contract killer, and yet they keep enforcing these murder laws. I got two kids, see?

  • Tyson White

    Gonna call child protective services and ask them to take Dino’s kids away.

  • Tyson White

    There are no active speed cameras on the UWS http://project.wnyc.org/speed-cameras/

  • Tyson White

    I agree. I bet the reporter didn’t even verify how fast Dino the Driving Dad was actually going. He simply took Dino’s word for it! Didn’t even ask to see the ticket…

    Of course police don’t like giving out speeding tickets. It makes them unpopular with the driving folks. It doesn’t earn you public respect no matter how much public safety it brings.

    Besides, most of the cops live far outside the city, so they are typical driving folk who see speeding as something enjoyable and important as sex. The last cop I talked to lives in Orange County. I’ve been up there. Lots of gun shops. No black people.

  • Tyson White

    No one is getting ticketed for going 5-10 mph over the speed limit. No one. Cops don’t ticket, and the cameras don’t either, unless you’re going MORE THAN 10 over the limit. A speed limit is a limit, not a suggestion, not an average, and EVERYONE should adhere to it.

    Infuriating motorists? That’s what the NY Post is doing. They will do that regardless no matter how many people die or lose limbs.

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