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Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street: A Quiet Bronx Block Where Reckless NYPD Drivers Store their Cars

11:08 AM EST on February 26, 2020

The SUV on which this police placard was displayed this week had seven school-zone speed-camera and five other violations dating back to 2015. Photo: Eve Kessler

Reckless police drivers aren't only parked at stationhouses.

A Friend of Streetsblog who lives on quiet, residential 239th Street, west of Independence Avenue, in the Bronx told us that he routinely sees “the same five cars with police placards” parked illegally on the street.

Like most placard possessors, the drivers are serial law-breakers.

The three vehicles displaying police-related identification had a total of 34 total parking and camera-violation tickets dating back to 2014, for a total of $1,424.11 in fines among them, according to the HowsMyDriving database, which aggregates city data. 

The results were consistent with Streetsblog’s 2019 S-Cop-Laws investigation, which looked at the driving records of almost 1,500 vehicles parked in NYPD-only parking or parked nearby with a police-issued placard. 

This friend of cops clearly wants preferential treatment. Photo: Eve Kessler
This friend of cops clearly wants preferential treatment. Photo: Eve Kessler

That investigation found that the police-related drivers had driving records generally twice as bad as those of the general public, with about 38 percent of placarded NYPD cars getting multiple moving violations and nearly three-quarters receiving at least one ticket. (The investigation revealed so much reckless driving by off-duty NYPD employees that Mayor de Blasio pledged to crack down by seizing city-issued parking placards if drivers get too many tickets.)

So we went to that one quiet Bronx block and indeed found three placard- or other NYPD-linked paraphernalia-bearing cars:

    • An SUV with the “NARCBOROMANHATTANNORTH” has racked up 12 tickets, including seven school-zone speed-camera violations since 2015 (one of them this year).
    • A Jeep Suburban with the placard from the 34th Precinct had two school-zone speed-camera violations and one parking ticket.
    • A Ford with the Fraternal Order of Police badge had one speeding ticket, but 18 parking tickets, evidence that even a cop-adjacent placard encourages drivers to break the law at will.

These tickets represent the violations for which they were caught. And cops rarely write tickets against fellow officers — sometimes because they are displaying official placards. But speed cameras, thankfully, don't play favorites.

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