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.

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