The NYPD appears to be over its jaywalking blitz near the site of three deadly car crashes, and is refocusing efforts on corralling drivers who speed and fail to yield to pedestrians who are crossing with the light. This week, they put a radar gun connected to a speed monitor at 96th street and Broadway to show drivers how fast they were traveling, as shown in the photo above.
In addition, officers have been ticketing drivers who fail to yield or are distracted while driving.
“Inspector Nancy Barry, who leads the 24th Precinct, said at a CB7 meeting last Thursday that on a single day last week, officers issued 79 summons for drivers for distracted driving or failing to yield to pedestrians, but only 31 to pedestrians for not following signals,” the Columbia Spectator reported earlier this month.
NYPD stats show that the precinct has given 82 tickets for failure to yield to a pedestrian in January, versus 15 in December.
“We’ve been focusing more on education than enforcement for pedestrians,” 24th precinct Captain James Dennedy told the Daily News this week.
Dennedy also said that the 24th precinct intends to train more officers to use radar guns — currently six are trained, but the precinct wants to train four more.
“I’m trying to get more people radar qualified,” he said. “Only one [officer] on every squad is trained and they have to respond to 911 calls, too.”
Although officers have been increasing enforcement of traffic violations, they haven’t increased the number of speeding tickets they’ve issued by much: “During the 28-day period ending Feb. 16, there were 16 speeding summons issued in the precinct, compared to 12 during the same time period last year.”
Robert Josman, who sent the photo above and two others registering speeds of 17 mph and 22 mph, thinks that street safety activists are overestimating the speeding problem in the area. He watched the cameras at rush hour on Tuesday and didn’t see people speeding.
“Much to the dismay of several of our local self appointed anti car activists czars, and a few members of bike lobbing pressure groups, not one car was going over 30 mph. As many cars approached people said ‘oh look he is speeding for sure’ and took out cameras, only to be visibly disappointed when the radar camera clearly showed they were not speeding.”
Josman added, however, that he is making “no excuses for drivers that do speed and operate theirs with disregard to others, especially pedestrians.”
The DOT has also been studying the intersection of 97th street and West End Avenue, where 9-year-old Cooper Stock was killed in January. And Borough President Gale Brewer has now added that intersection to a list of dangerous streets that need to be reviewed. We wrote about the other four intersections on that list here.
Read all our coverage of pedestrian safety here.