(The following article was written by Michael Daly for the NY Daily News)
The NYPD insists it does not have even unofficial ticket quotas, but of course it does.
And it should.
What it should not do is waste cops on issuing summonses for double-parking and parking at bus stops.
Let the parking violations agents do that.
The cops should concentrate on violations that directly relate to traffic safety, violations such as 16- year-old Eric Hakimisefat committed as he raced at 63 mph with only a junior permit down E. 23rd St. in Midwood, Brooklyn, on Sunday.
Hakimisefat had little reason to fear being pulled over, for seeing cars stopped for speeding in this city is rare, rarer still off the highways. Drivers routinely travel at 20 miles over the speed limit on the bigger avenues with scant worry of being ticketed. A 2009 study postulated that a New York City driver could speed daily for 35 years without getting a ticket.
Hakimisefat just kept rocketing until he lost control and plowed into a house. He and another 16-year-old had on seat belts and escaped serious injury.
Thirteen-year-old Sarah Erdan was not wearing a seat belt. She cried out in pain and fear, then went forever silent.
The funeral was Monday in the Shomrei Hadas Chapels on 14th Ave. in Borough Park. Sarah had just started attending the Shalhevet High School for Girls, and her 54 classmates arrived in yellow school buses. They crossed the sidewalk in the rain.
“Very sweet, vivacious, full of life, good student, wonderful kid,” said Rabbi Zev Friedman of the schoolgirl. “She was looking to live life to the fullest.”
He and his colleagues had spoken to the students during the morning prayer session.
“We can’t answer all questions,” he said they told the grieving students. “There are things beyond our control.”
There also are things within our control, and they include speeding. We have had zero tolerance for public drinking and urination. Why not zero tolerance for driving more than 30 mph in the city streets?
Every few days, we witness some new traffic tragedy, and too often we shrug. We were all horrified when he learned that the medical examiner’s office had retained a young car- accident victim’s brain without the family’s consent. The wreck that made him a candidate for an autopsy barely reached public attention.
Often when a motorist or a pedestrian or a bicyclist is killed by a speeder, the culprit escapes even a ticket because velocity after the fact can be hard to establish. Velocity as calculated by the speedometer of a trailing police car or a radar gun is a snap.
Take it from me. I used the speedometer on my wife’s car to catch then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani going 70 mph after he announced a supposed crackdown on speeding back in 1998.
Let’s have a real crackdown now. The cops have had periodic crackdowns on using cell phones at the wheel, issuing 195,579 summonses in 2007 as compared to 75,599 for speeding. The disparity exists even though speeding was listed as the cause in nearly 40 times more crashes than cell phone use.
After the funeral yesterday, one of this year’s speeding victims was borne into the rain in a plain wooden box cloaked in black and loaded into the back of an outsize SUV.
The 13-year-old who wanted to live life to the fullest, who loved skateboarding and basketball and her dog, Max, was then driven off to the cemetery through streets where so many speed without the slightest fear of being caught.
(Source: NY Daily News)