Tourists and locals share one common belief about NYC: the drivers are crazy. Looking both ways before crossing a street no longer seems reassuring, as a new report finds that traffic fatalities and dangerous violations are on the rise.
Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, issued a report today that contains some staggering statistics.
In the last year, a driver could speed every day in New York and only get ticketed once every 35 years, the report found. There has been an increase in speed-related fatalities, while summons issued for speeding has fallen by 22 percent. Out of 438 red light runners, only one lucky car will get caught. Failing to yield is so popular these days that the likelihood of getting a ticket for it is once every 1,589 years.
Who is to blame for this wild behavior?
The report calls for sweeping reforms of the way New York City tracks and reduces traffic crime, beginning with the creation of a new road safety office.
The report also said a closer eye needs to be kept on enforcing traffic laws. “Our study shoes what most New York City drivers have already figured out: no one is watching.”
The Transportation Alternatives suggests creating a so-called Office of Road Safety at City Hall to take care of violations, crashes, injuries and fatalities. It also recommends fewer leniencies in the distribution of points on licenses, claiming that they should activate immediately following conviction. Lastly, assigning officers to hot spots where many crashes occur and measure traffic safety through incident reduction, rather than summons issued.
There were 26 reputable signatures backing the statistics and recommendations. Among them are Mother Against Drunk Driving, Disabled in Action, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Zipcar, and President of the CWA Local 1182.