SPEED DEMON: PBA President Pat Lynch is Driven Around Really Fast!

This is only part of PBA President Pat Lynch's driving record.
This is only part of PBA President Pat Lynch's driving record.

To protect and speed.

Last week after two police officers bravely ran into a burning building in The Bronx to save an elderly woman, police union head Patrick Lynch rushed to the scene.

The driving record of the car that PBA President Pat Lynch was driving around in last week. Photo: Howsmydriving
The driving record of the car that PBA President Pat Lynch was driving around in last week. Photo: Howsmydriving

Perhaps too quickly: the 2021 Chevy Suburban in which Lynch was chauffeured has a staggering 29 school-zone speeding violations since 2016, the most recent on Jan. 6 in Queens, according to city data.

The startling number of tickets raise questions about why Lynch is being driven around so recklessly in a 5,000-pound vehicle — and who is footing the bill for infractions that total nearly $1,500 (all but $125 worth of tickets have been paid).

It is unclear how many camera-issued tickets were issued when Lynch was driving the vehicle and how many were racked up by one of Lynch’s drivers, but several other cars that are registered to the same owner and address as Lynch’s car have dozens of serious infractions for reckless driving, too, according to the Department of Finance database:

  • One car has six school zone speeding violations and five red light tickets since 2017.
  • Another has 17 speeding and one red light ticket since 2016.
  • Another has five speeding tickets and two red light tickets since 2016. A fourth PBA car has 26 speeding tickets and eight red light tickets since 2016.
  • Another has eight speeding tickets and seven red light tickets since 2016.
  • Another has six speeding tickets and six red light tickets since 2016.

In total, cars registered to the same owner as Lynch’s have racked up thousands of dollars in tickets over the years (a spokesman for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services said the cars are not in the city fleet). But the total cost of the tickets is tiny compared to the money Lynch has been paid since his election in 1999 to lead the Police Benevolent Association, where he draws a hefty salary on top of his $85,292 salary from his position as an NYPD officer.

All of the reckless driving tickets on Lynch’s car are speeding tickets issued by cameras. It’s not clear if the vehicle Lynch was seen in last week — which has also been slapped with parking tickets near Lynch’s Queens residence as far back as 2015 — would even be pulled over for speeding by a fellow officer in the first place, as it is similar in trim and appearance to cars issued to high ranking police officials.

It’s hard to imagine Lynch’s drivers wouldn’t be extended professional courtesy. A source familiar with the PBA said the cars are likely driven by union employees who are also actively or formerly employed by the police department.

At least 10 of the speed-camera violations were issued within two miles of Lynch’s Queen’s home. A Department of Transportation speed camera only issues tickets when a car is going at least 11 miles per hour above the posted speed limit in a school zone. State officials gave the city the power to install such cameras as a way of protecting the lives of children as they go to or come home from school.

The revelation of Lynch’s recklessness follows a Streetsblog series in 2019 that investigated the driving records of NYPD officers in their personal vehicles, which get serious camera-issued tickets at a rate double the general population. The majority of cops live in the suburbs.

The union honcho has previously taken a lukewarm position on the speed cameras, which have been proven to reduce traffic violence where they are installed.

“Speed cameras will certainly raise revenue for the city, but they cannot do the job of a live, professionally trained police officer who, having stopped a speeder, may make an arrest for driving under the influence, driving without a license or insurance or even worse offenses like carrying an illegal weapon,” Lynch said in 2014.

The Police Benevolent Association did not return a request for comment about Lynch’s violations.

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