NYPD to Drivers: Slow Down and Stop Killing People!

This is a split second before Jose Alzorriz (right) was killed just waiting for a light.
This is a split second before Jose Alzorriz (right) was killed just waiting for a light.

This just in from the Department of Transportation and the NYPD: Cops will be out in force with radar guns to stop drivers — who apparently are much more likely to speed on hot summer weekends.

The crackdown is part of a “Warm Weather Weekends” campaign. The agencies say last weekend’s warm weather was a contributing factor in six fatalities, including the death of cyclist Jose Alzorris. So this weekend, the NYPD will try to stop the carnage.

Here’s the statement from the agencies:

The New York City Police Department and the Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued an alert that with beautiful weather forecast for this weekend, the Vision Zero “Warm Weather Weekends” safety campaign would be in effect. This weekend’s weather forecast calls for sunny days with highs in the 80s on both Saturday and Sunday, very similar to last weekend’s weather – when New York City saw six fatalities in five different crashes in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.  Preliminary investigations show that most of last weekend’s crashes involved motorists or motorcyclists traveling at excessive speeds.

“The NYPD is stepping up its enforcement of speeding drivers this weekend,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.“Tragically, last weekend showed us that the blatant disregard of our speed laws are directly resulting in lives lost and families forever damaged. Our officers will be working to target this dangerous driving behavior. The NYPD is committed to Vision Zero; we expect all motorists to drive safely, and hold accountable all those that do not.”

“With the Warm Weather Weekends campaign in full effect and after seeing far too many tragedies this year, we and our Vision Zero partners are taking strong preventive action,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Last weekend, we saw once again the unmistakable and dangerous results of speeding, with several horrible crashes.  Our message to New Yorkers for this coming beautiful weekend could not be simpler: we want you to get out there and enjoy this weekend — including at the final Saturday of our Summer Streets event.  However, if you are driving a car or riding a motorcycle, please do so safely.”

Drivers should expect heightened enforcement this weekend, from NYPD Highway Patrol and local precincts, each of which now has its own speed detection equipment. Officials will remind drivers that they should continue to obey the speed limit, turn slowly and yield to pedestrians. They will also be calling on drivers to “Look twice for motorcycles,” while reminding motorcyclists – who ride in greater numbers over weekends – to make sure they have the right licensure and registration and avoid risky passing between vehicles.

  • banignorance

    Ummmm, no.

    When someone illegally steps out in the middle of a block into moving traffic and gets killed, it’s not the motorist’s doing or fault.

    Reminder: Yes, jaywalking also is illegal here. Under both state and city laws.

    The new speed limit simply reduces (but does not eliminate) the chances of those incidents being fatal. Clever way to reduce fatalities while doing nothing about the causes of the collisions in the first place.

    As long as people like you continue to attempt to shift responsibility while hanging desperately onto your perceived right to illegally endanger yourselves and others, the problem will continue.

    In many cities, jaywalking will get you ticketed or even arrested. I don’t know why any of you think it’s defensible.

  • banignorance

    The context of the article is NYC so that’s what I’m writing about. Yes, the picture is certainly different in other parts of the country.

    Here, however, cyclists and pedestrians have become outright militant, to the point of belligerently doing things that are dangerous and illegal, then angrily challenging the drivers and riders who have to panic stop (or risk colliding with other vehicles) so as not to injure or kill the belligerents. I have personally witnessed this behavior repeatedly. Acquaintances of mine have been injured and have suffered property damage from this behavior.

    Further, some behavior that on the surface appears to be merely foolish is actually a passive aggressive form of militant behavior. For example, folks walking into the street with their faces buried in smartphones, and totally ignoring the horns of approaching vehicles. Every now and then I catch them looking out the corners of their eyes while trying not to move their heads, and even slowing down in the middle of the street when they know a vehicle is approaching.

    All this is why I brought up the term “power drunk”.

    Yes, I too have been around. Of course we are a huge melting pot in this city and people are naturally inclined to import their habits with them. The more I traveled the more obvious it became. I can just about tell you where a driver is from, before I even see a face.

    I also try to be aware of this as I travel and try not to be that guy who is “driving while white”. 🙂

    We are already widening sidewalks, lengthening light intervals, etc. Also instituting multi-phase signals and redesigning passages to force more deliberate cornering. All good. I’m all for it.

    The funny thing is that after a decade of traffic calming measures and reducing general use lane availability, car ownership here has grown fourteen percent and app cars (Uber, Lyft, et al) are only a small portion of that number.

    My neighborhood’s hysterical public outcry from a simple flexible plastic post installed at a busy street corner tells me all I need to know about drivers here and how they insist on treating corners with crosswalks and pedestrians. Very disappointing, but not unexpected.

    In many places, overloading of sidewalks is addressed by building underground and overhead passages and sometimes even prohibiting all pedestrian crossings at ground level. I don’t envision New Yorkers ever tolerating that.

    I also don’t envision there ever being an iteration of this city’s administration that will have the balls to try it. Asking a New Yorker to walk ten extra steps, you might as well be telling them to go without food and water for a week. Or Amazon and Netflix. It would be certain political suicide.

  • banignorance

    Try that with HWY and let us know how it works out.

  • MiklosMeszaros

    New Yorkers have always been militant (and violent on occasion) on the roads well before even I was here and was part of the culture as long as I can remember. It expanded with increase car ownership, increased population, and increase in cycling. The add the combination of fondle slab addiction and the blocking of auditory with all manner of devices and you have the recipe.

    There isn’t even a need to discuss the detail here, we all know what is happening. But I assure you the entitlement is on every single part. Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. We did mentions the rate of incidence earlier and we said a third of those contacts are considered pedestrian error. Its actually the second highest in number overall. So you would be correct in saying that in order to reduce the overall incidence rate, pedestrian enforcement would be the second highest order, which you won’t get any argument from my part if your specific goal was greatest incidence reduction. This is where the finger pointing begins. Pedestrians don’t want to hear about addressing their issues until you address the greatest of issues. Cyclists do the same, but to be honest when looking at the figures, they are the lesser portion of the overall problem as compared to pedestrians and drivers for the time being. The various governing powers response in various knee jerks and in ending, little gets accomplished.

    The cyclist part I had brought up is due to the large immigrant population and how they approached cycling from origin cities. Those very same people often can’t speak English and never obtained any form of licensing in the US. So they ride the same as they had always, which obviously isn’t what we want here. Since you can ride a bike on any road here in the US without any instruction on the rules of the road, maybe we should offer the education without a specific license.

    Remember that there are specific areas defined by law that allow pedestrians to cross mid block. So its not all illegal across the city, but in most of Manhattan it likely is. It certainly is not on the block live on at all illegal. I bet if you ask most New Yorkers, they might not be able to define when or where they can legally cross mid block. A number of issue at a number of levels to blame for the state of transport in the city today.

  • banignorance

    I’ve been on the road for almost five decades. What I’ve seen is a huge escalation, most conspicuously in the last decade or so. Yes, on everyone’s part.

    Ignoring the second highest cause of a problem does not seem to me to be a winning strategy. Pedestrians want to hear about everyone else being addressed except them. The few times pedestrians have been ticketed, the outrage shook the city. Craziest thing I’ve ever seen.

    There are some specific placeswhere mid-block crossing is permitted, and crosswalks define them, along with other traffic control devices (stop signs, traffic lights). Crossing outside a crosswalk, where traffic lights and marked crosswalks are present for 110′ in either direction, is not at all legal. Nor is stepping out into moving traffic.

    People’s right of way is tricky and can be interpreted differently in legal matters versus civil matters. Nobody wants to be seeing their rights interpreted in a civil action. (“dead right”)

    At least I hope.

    I’m not quite prepared to give the immigrant pass to all the folks I see bicycling against traffic, or leaving off their helmets when riding rental scooters, or whatever. If I can manage to obey the laws and customs in other countries, so can our visitors and our residents.

  • fdtutf

    In many cities, jaywalking will get you ticketed or even arrested. I don’t know why any of you think it’s defensible.

    Then you either didn’t read or didn’t understand the link I posted.

  • banignorance

    I’ve seen that article before.

    It changes nothing.

    Motor vehicles and pedestrians don’t mix, the motor vehicle genie will not go back into the bottle, and pedestrians have no more interest in sharing space with motor vehicles than do motorists. Especially now. And with bicyclists [literally] stuck between the battling sides.

    Fact remains, jaywalking is illegal here. There’s a good reason for that, in spite of the lack of enforcement and the commensurate tragic results. Walking into moving traffic also remains illegal. Perpetuating a century old conspiracy does not change any of that, and does not constitute a defense.

  • fdtutf

    It changes everything by explaining the origin of the erroneous idea that automobiles and their operators own the streets.

    Appealing to the legal system, which is biased in favor of motorists, doesn’t help your case.

  • fdtutf

    WOW, AMAZING REBUTTAL

  • Anthony Macchiarella

    Hey “kevd” before you wanna talk about meth let’s talk about crooked politics. The city once had a law that required helmets to be worn but the mayor couldn’t get anymore bike Lanes shoehorned into narrow NYC streets approved without promoting ridership so he repealed the helmet law.

  • Anthony Macchiarella

    Ok so get rid of all the cars. Your right, I’m wrong. I don’t know what planet you people live on. This is an issue of safety not politics for idiots. Wearing a helmet will keep you safe. It’s like wearing a seatbelt.

  • Anthony Macchiarella

    There was once a helmet law. Mayor Bloomberg repealed it to promote ridership because he couldn’t get any more bike Lanes approved for his wealthy friends who wanted to ride their bikes to work instead of going on the subway. There was no demand for bike Lanes at the time so they repealed the helmet law to promote ridership to in turn gain approval.

  • Anthony Macchiarella

    People who drive cars are required to wear seatbelts. Seat belts make riding in cars safer.

  • Idorideabike

    There’s absolutely no enforcement.

  • Vooch

    4,000 occupants of cars die every year from head injuries.

    Helmet Laws should be mandatory for anyone inside a car.

  • kevd

    Not under Bloomberg there wasn’t.
    I was a full grown adult then riding a bike in NYC then, and I was fully aware of all the cycling laws in the early 2000s.
    Try again.

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