How About Commendations for NYPD’s Real Vision Zero Heroes?

Police are issuing more tickets for reckless driving. Where are their awards?
NYPD officers are issuing a lot more tickets for reckless driving. Where are their awards? Photo: Hilda Cohen

In 2014, the inaugural year of Vision Zero in NYC, Officer Joshua Vincek was racking up bike tickets in the 20th Precinct on the Upper West Side. In the meantime his fellow precinct officers wrote 266 tickets to speeding drivers. That might not sound like much, but consider this: In 2013 the 20th Precinct issued all of 14 speeding summonses — and in 2012, the total was four.

NYPD enforcement of dangerous violations like speeding and failure to yield is uneven from precinct to precinct, but there are cops out there who are making it safer to walk and bike by targeting reckless driving.

In 2014 summonses for failure to yield to pedestrians increased by 125 percent from the year before. Police who walk in front of turning drivers are literally putting their lives at risk, and they’re doing a lot more good than ticketing people on bikes. Unlike people on bikes, drivers who fail to yield actually claim lives on the Upper West Side. Cooper StockJean Chambers, and Moshe Grun were all killed by Upper West Side motorists who failed to yield.

Is NYPD recognizing beat cops who are responsible for increased enforcement of violations that cause most traffic injuries and deaths? We asked the department’s public information office, but they didn’t have an answer for us.

It would be a shame if Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan and other department brass don’t honor officers who are actually moving NYC toward its Vision Zero goals.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

TA Vision Zero Report: NYPD Traffic Enforcement Up, But Wildly Uneven

|
NYPD increased enforcement of dangerous traffic violations during the first six months of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, but enforcement varied drastically from precinct to precinct, with some issuing fewer summonses than last year. In “Report Card: Six Months of Vision Zero Traffic Enforcement” [PDF], Transportation Alternatives analyzed NYPD summons data from January through June. TA […]

Will Bratton Direct All NYPD Precincts to Get Behind Vision Zero?

|
NYPD summons data from last month show that ticketing for deadly traffic violations increased overall compared to February 2013, but in the weeks after the official launch of Vision Zero, enforcement remained wildly inconsistent from precinct to precinct. WNYC mapped data on citations for speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and red-light running. The dark blue areas […]

Has Your NYPD Precinct Ramped Up Enforcement Under Vision Zero?

|
Which police precincts are devoting greater attention to traffic enforcement under Vision Zero? Streetsblog crunched the numbers from NYPD to find out how different precincts stacked up in 2014 compared to previous years. The stats show that police are, in general, devoting more resources to enforcing the most dangerous traffic violations on surface streets. But […]

Caption Contest: Chan Declares Bike-Obsessed Cop a Vision Zero Hero

|
Thanking @NYPD20Pct Officer Vincek for his dedication & commitment to community concerns & #VisionZero. #UWS pic.twitter.com/JHM79Fbsv9 — Chief Thomas M. Chan (@NYPDTransport) July 8, 2015 Joshua Vincek is the 20th Precinct officer known for ticketing over 1,200 cyclists during a 38-month period when the entire precinct summonsed just 331 drivers for speeding. That’s not a typo. […]

NYPD Is Ticketing More Drivers for Speeding on Neighborhood Streets

|
NYPD is issuing more speeding summonses this year than in 2013, and data show a substantial jump in the number of drivers ticketed for speeding on neighborhood streets. While the numbers represent an increase from the baseline, it will take a lot more summonses for enforcement to be commensurate with the scale of NYC’s reckless driving […]