Editorial:  Zero for Zero

Editorial: Zero for Zero

Photo Courtesy of flickr.com/NY City Department of Transportation


Kudos to the 106th precinct and the rest of New York’s finest this week. In partnership with DOT and Vision Zero, they are stopping cars along Cross Bay Boulevard and throughout the borough as a courtesy to drivers, to alert them to the serious cracking-down that will occur in the coming days. And they’re really doing their jobs well, as several of us at The Forum have already been stopped and advised of the forthcoming action plan.

When you get approached this week by a uniformed officer while you’re at a stop light, don’t be alarmed. You’re not getting a ticket, and you probably won’t get pulled out of your car for a “stop and frisk,” at least as far as we can assume. But you will be handed a small card and given, verbally, additional information about the upcoming implementation of summonses-issuing for speeding and other violations.

You read that right: starting as early as Nov. 2, violators in the following bad-driving categories — no seatbelts, using cellphones while behind the wheel, distracted driving, and, hopefully obviously, speeding – will be issued summonses, not tickets. If you’re not aware, a summons is a citation to appear in court. A ticket, you can simply pay or dispute in court or online. Not so much with a summons. You’ve got to show up.

The card being handed to drivers is straightforward: for pedestrians, keep your “heads up.” Drivers must improve their “focus.” And for those on two wheels, “bike smart.” (The number of times we’ve seen a cyclist biking against the direction of traffic…countless. A lot of you are biking very, very dumb. But we digress.) Vision Zero, signed into legislation in June 2014, aims to make New York “the world’s safest city.” Approximately 4,000 city residents, according to Vision Zero’s website at nyc.gov, are seriously injured, and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic accidents. “On average, vehicles seriously injure or kill a New Yorker every two hours.”

Vision Zero and in particular this latest enforcement plan is a laudable effort on the part of the NYPD and the city to put its money where its mouth is. We’ve been seeing the lowered speed limit signs for months, along with the warnings that cameras were capturing our violations. Let’s face it: the Boulevard has always teemed with crackpot drivers. Notably, many seem to have forgotten simple things like right of way when turning onto or from Cross Bay. Home to many an accident, it has also been a stretch where, when the lights are green, reckless drivers put their pedals to the metal.

And now our city cops and DOT are enforcing this zero for Zero plan (our catchphrase, not theirs), that is, zero tolerance for violations against DOT’s Vision Zero. We are all for it, having been cut off dozens of times and raced to the four-way-stop-finish. Not to mention the bozos that think we have right on red around here. But don’t get us started!


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