Council Member: Cops Shouldn’t Let Drag Racers Off With a Warning

Skid marks left after drag racing in Bay Ridge. Photo: Justin Brannan.
Skid marks left after drag racing in Bay Ridge. Photo: Justin Brannan.

Bay Ridge Council Member Justin Brannan is calling out members of New York’s Finest for letting four kids off the hook for drag racing in the residential neighborhood.

The punks were recently caught on camera hitting the gas inside their cars along Shore Road — a known hot spot for dangerous drag racing and drivers recklessly doing doughnuts near Bay Ridge Avenue.

But instead of cuffing the reckless motorists as police have done previously, cops from the 68th Precinct traveled to the drivers’ parents’ houses in Staten Island to give them a talking to, according to the local pol. Brannan initially praised the officers for sending the right “message,” but then had to backtrack after unleashing a Twitter mob calling for something a little more than a friendly warning.

“I agree more should have been done and I’m trying to find out why more wasn’t done,” Brannan said on Twitter. “The 68 has arrested drivers for drag racing before — as recently as last month. Not sure why this time was different.”

On social media, many Brannan constituents pointed out the absurdity of letting the drivers go without so much as a ticket for speeding and or recklessness, when cops regularly take kids’ bikes and delivery workers’ e-bikes

“The police department routinely confiscates bicycles from teenagers and e-bikes from the guys that deliver your seamless order. But if they catch you drag racing they just tell your mom,” account Bay Ridge Drivers wrote on Twitter.

Brannan has previously blasted the same precinct for ignoring the repeated drag racing that goes on in his community — which often leaves skid marks in the pavement — after police wrote young adults tickets for not having bells on their bicycles, and even confiscated some of their bikes during an unjust crack down back in April. 

Police defended their decision to visit Staten Island by saying only the cars had been identified, not the actual people inside them, and that if someone had been hurt or killed, they would have taken it more seriously.

“Instead of waiting for another incident, we responded to the registered owners’ homes and let the parents know what was happening,” the 68th Precinct wrote on Twitter. “Had there been an assault in this case, or leaving a collision with injuries, a different kind of investigation would have commenced, quite possibly leading to arrests. That was not what we had here.”

But had the vehicles been e-bikes, or regular two-wheelers without bells, instead of cars, safe-streets advocates mused that things would likely have gone very differently.

“I’m not trying to be difficult, but if they had been drag racing bicycles without bells on them, would you have confiscated their bikes?” wrote Transportation Alternatives spokesman Joe Cutrufo on Twitter.

Whatever your position on policing, roadways in Brooklyn’s Community Board 10 are dangerous. In 2018, 45 cyclists, 154 pedestrians, and 506 drivers were injured in 2,891 crashes, roughly eight collisions per day in a district comprising only Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights.

  • Joe R.

    This begs a larger question, which is why do we allow people that young to have driver’s licenses in the first place? Most of this type of behavior is from the under 25 crowd. 25 should be the minimum age before you can get a driver’s license. Studies show the brain isn’t fully developed until about that age, especially the part that enables reasoning over impulses.

  • (It raises a larger question. http://begthequestion.info)

  • NYCBK123

    Also let’s have the police punish all perpetrators of reckless driving in the neighborhood – which includes plenty of people who aren’t teenagers.

  • NYCBK123

    There are plenty of restrictions and graduated license laws governing young people (not saying too much or too little) but let’s not forget that this is prime working years for people. And drivers over 75 are almost as dangerous as teenage drivers! We need to create an environment where people don’t have to drive for most activities.

  • Joe R.

    Yes, the real answer is to make driving unnecessary for most people but I’m not seeing how restricting driving to those over 25 is going to be a major problem. I have to disagree that these are prime working years for people. A lot of people don’t even start getting serious about their career until late 20s or early 30s, and prime earning years are typically mid 30s through late 50s. But anyway, the answer to the problem is easy. Any employer who decides to set up shop in areas with no reasonable public transit options should have to provide transportation for their employees to work for free for anyone who needs it. This can consist of a small van which makes the rounds to employee’s homes. Really, nobody should have to own a car and have a driver’s license to participate in the economy. That’s one reason I ended up underemployed my entire adult life after finishing college. All the jobs in my field were in middle of nowhere places where I would have needed a car and driver’s license, not to mention going through the expense of relocating. I didn’t have money for any of that, and neither did my parents.

    To this day I resent that we chose to set up the economy that way, essentially shutting out anyone who couldn’t buy a car and/or couldn’t drive. As an aside, I get car sick except on the shortest trips. Even with a license and car, driving to work wouldn’t have been feasible for me. By the time I got to work, I wouldn’t have been in a state where I could have done the job. The bottom line is a car centric society shut me out.

  • William Lawson

    That dangerous, potentially fatal crimes can take place on a regular basis at the same locations without the NYPD taking steps to stop them permanently is a horrible indictment of our shit police department. They’ve got time to camp out and blitz cyclists with tickets after a cyclist is killed by a reckless motorists, but they can’t have officers permanently stationed on roads and intersections on which kids are drag racing and doing donuts every evening? I guarantee you, many of these officers are dim witted suburban meatheads who grew up pulling donuts in parking lots etc, and they identify fondly with this kind of behavior. They probably think it’s actually kinda cool and exciting, a sort of “boys will be boys” scenario to be tolerated with a nod and a wink (even as people are killed).

  • William Lawson

    And includes plenty of people who are city employed placard holders like police officers, fire fighters etc. They’re some of the worst drivers in the city because their placards embolden them.

  • NYCBK123

    Absolutely!

  • Och

    So a group of teens from Staten Island are caught drag racing, and instead of being arrested the cops just talk to their parents? I bet their parents are cops living on Staten Island.

  • Guy Ross

    Names of the teens:
    -Josh
    -Chad
    -Clint
    -Dustin

  • Philip Neumann

    Todd

  • William Lawson

    No Kyle?

  • Driver

    We live in a city that has close to, if not more than a million people commute into Manhattan for work via public transportation every day. Many working people also manage to afford cars and independent housing. Your specific situation and transportation restrictions are not indicative of a larger societal problem.

  • Joe R.

    Actually, the majority of people who have cars can’t afford them. Something else is being taken away, usually saving. Most financial planners will tell you you should use at most 25% of your take-home for housing, 25% for emergency (i.e. non-retirement) savings, 25% for retirement, and 25% for everything else, including transportation. When you consider that a car often costs $10K annually to own, and it has to come out of the last 25%, along with food, clothing, etc., that generally means that last 25% must be about $25K. This implies a take-home pay of $100K, which in turn means something like $175K before taxes. So households with $175K or more income can afford a car, the rest can’t. Basically the upper middle class and higher are the only ones who can truly afford a car without sacrificing something else.

    As for my situation, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one at the time who had no prospect of employment in my field in a place where car ownership wouldn’t have been necessary. I’ll admit the situation may have improved marginally since then, but that doesn’t do me any good at this point since my career, such as it was, is effectively over. My point is there something wrong with a society where many people can’t participate economically unless they own an expensive contraption and have the capability of driving it. At least for most NYC residents a car is entirely optional. If their budgets start to get tight, they can lose the car to save money. Most of the rest of that country doesn’t have that option. My niece was forced to buy a car. Basically almost everything she makes is going to pay for it.

  • alvera

    One yr earlier I made the decision to discontinue my past work and I am too delightful at this time…. I began working via the internet, for an organization I came across on-line, for a few hour or so on daily basis, and I bring home even more than I actually did on my office job… My pay-check for past 30 days was 9,000 dollars… The most advantageous thing on this is the additional leisure time I acquired for my children…and that the single requirement for this task is simple typing and also having access to internet… I am capable to spend quality time with my loved ones and close friends and look after my little kids as well as going on a family vacation with them really consistently. Don’t ignore this opportunity and try to act quick. Test it out, what it’s about… xnarecipe.and-you.de

  • Knut Torkelson

    Have you been to Staten Island??

    -Michael Anthony
    – Anthony Michael
    -Vincent Anthony
    -Michael Vincent

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