Archive for the tag 'tickets'

A 2012 collision on Bedford Avenue and Emmons Avenue, which neighbors say is a common occurrence. (Photo: Tom Paolillo)

The New York Police Department has been busy this year. In February, the number of tickets issued across the city for traffic violations have gone up. But things look different in our local 61st Precinct, which covers Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach.

In this area there has been no increase or decrease in the number of tickets drivers received in February 2014 when compared to the number issued in February 2013, according to an analysis of the NYPD’s data by WNYC. It has stayed a consistent 65, while most precincts in the city have seen drastic increases during the first month of Vision Zero policy implementation.

Bay Ridge’s 68th Precinct, for example, shot up 169 percent. Bed-Stuy’s 79th Precinct increased a whopping 322 percent.

According to a WNYC analysis, the increase is due to the fact that “most precincts stepped up enforcement of speeding, failure to yield to pedestrians, and failure to stop at traffic signals.” The ramped up enforcement is part of the policy implementation of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which aims to reduce traffic-related fatalities. As part of the plan, officers are called on to increase enforcement against the most dangerous kinds of violations.

In February 2014, the NYPD reported 220 collisions in the 61st Precinct. There was only one fatality, a man who was struck and killed by a private plow in front of the Oceana complex in Brighton Beach.

In a new community newsletter to be produced monthly by the 61st Precinct, the local command announced that traffic enforcement would ramp up in the neighborhood, with a particular focus on locations with a history of pedestrian-related accidents.

They wrote:

In accordance with Mayor De Blasio’s “Vision Zero” campaign, one of the top priorities of the New York City Police Department is to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from motor vehicle collisions. Officers on patrol will focus enforcement related to keeping pedestrians and motorists safe by issuing summonses that include the failure to stop at stop signs and red lights, as well as the failure to yield to pedestrians.

Our current top pedestrian related collision location is the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Avenue Z. Our partnership with the community includes sharing vital information so that our friends, family and neighbors will remain safe.

Source: Peds.org

Motorists trying to gun it through through the streets of Sheepshead Bay are the second most likely to be caught in all of Brooklyn, according to a report by the New York Daily News.

One hundred ninety-eight speeding tickets were issued by the 61st Precinct, putting Sheepshead Bay in second place overall in Brooklyn, according to statistics released by the NYPD.

Overall, combined with tickets handed out by highway cops, about 15,000 speeding tickets were issued in Brooklyn this past year, far fewer than the 43,920 tickets issued for talking on cell phones while driving or the 37,010 tickets issued for illegally-tinted car windows.

The tracking of speeding tickets has become a hot-button issue in recent months as multiple hit-and-run tragedies have dominated headlines across the city. As we’ve previously reported, State Senator Marty Golden has been at the forefront of trying to stiffen penalties for reckless drivers, and more local politicians are following his lead.

“This data shows that Brooklyn needs more resources and clearer enforcement goals to deal effectively with dangerous drivers,” said state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Crown Heights), a former police captain and frontrunner to become Brooklyn’s next borough president. “Until these speedsters know that they’ll be caught and harshly prosecuted for their reckless behavior, they will continue to put lives at risk on our streets day-in and day-out.”

To fight dangerous speeders, officials and lawmakers have begun pushing for a program that would install speed enforcement cameras.

According to the Daily News, NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Republican Temporary President and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Senator Jeff Klein all sent nearly identical letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo calling for installation of the cameras.

“Motorists know that there will never be a sufficient number of police officers to catch everyone who violates the traffic laws,” Kelly wrote in a letter to Cuomo, “but the presence of speed cameras can create a strong deterrent effect, serving to reduce speeding and the collision and physical injury that it causes.”

Opponents of speed cameras point to the holes they create in law enforcement such as being able to tell if a driver is drunk, if a driver is unlicensed or if a motorist is carrying weapons while fleeing a crime scene.

Speed enforcement cameras are used in more than 120 cities across the country, but in some instances they’ve prompted lawsuits and efforts by state legislatures to ban them.

The City of Baltimore recently moved to replace its entire network of speed enforcement cameras after an investigation found numerous errors in their speed readings.

A 2011 study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety credited speed enforcement cameras with reducing fatal crashes by 24% in 14 large cities where they were used.

Here is a full breakdown of the tickets issued last year, courtesy of the Daily News via the NYPD:

Top five speeding ticket precincts

94th Precinct (Greenpoint) – 555

61st Precinct (Sheepshead Bay) – 198

62nd Precinct (Bensonhurst) – 182

79th Precinct (Bed-Stuy) – 180

60th Precinct (Coney Island) – 173

Bottom five speeding ticket precincts

83rd Precinct (Bushwick) – 8

67th Precinct (East Flatbush) – 45

88th Precinct (Clinton Hill/Fort Greene) — 46

84th Precinct (Brooklyn Heights) — 48

68th Precinct (Bay Ridge) – 63

Top Brooklyn tickets

Cell phone – 43,920

Safety belt – 37,010

Disobey sign – 29,889

Tinted windows -28,815

Uninsured – 18,954

Brake lights – 9,981

Speeding – 2,873*

(Excluding the 13,535 tickets issued by Highway officers covering the borough and parts of Queens)

In lieu of photos of the neighborhood’s loudest dogs, we bring you Biggie the Harlequin Great Dane, the neighborhood’s dreamiest dog. Photo courtesy of Albert Dashevky.

There is a dog that lives across the street from my apartment building. I can’t see this dog, and I have no idea what it looks like, and despite this, the dog and I have a very intimate relationship. Every time a truck rumbles by, or a police siren wails, or thunder crashes, this invisible dog barks incessantly for the next 45 minutes. In the back of mind I always wondered if this was the worst dog in existence, but now I know that he is not.

The honor for loudest dogs in the city belongs to two dogs living in Marine Park. The 9-year-old German Shepard Maxwell, and his next door neighbor Buddy, a five year old Beauceron, have racked up close to 20 complaints in recent years. The owners of the dogs have both received warning letters from the Department of Environmental Protection.

“I think its ridiculous,” barked Maxwell’s owner Joseph Butrico, to DNAInfo. “They have tickets for everything. They just make it up as they go along.”

“When someone invades their space, they are gonna bark,” said Buddy’s owner Ann Winters, equally strident in defense of her noisy pooch.

In case you are wondering if Maxwell and Buddy were both the source of each other’s maniacal barking, being that they share a fence, it couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Ann.

“[They] see each other through a part of the fence, and they kiss each other,” she said.

Obviously these two dogs have formed a mutual friendship based on driving their neighbors crazy.

Put this one down as one of the dumbest tickets ever.

According to this video, an SUV parked on the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue V was pushed into the crosswalk after a motorist slammed into the car behind it. The owner of the SUV was promptly issued a ticket for “blocking the crosswalk,” and after pleading his case, was told it was “too late” because the ticket was already written.

“If you saw an accident like this, wouldn’t you think something had to happen to this car, for it to be up on the sidewalk and almost smashed into a pole,” the vehicle’s owner says in the video. “COME ON! A little common sense!”

The owner of the car tried to explain the situation to the officer, only to be told it was “too late” because the ticket had already been written.

If you are one of the owners in the video, or know them, please put them in touch with Sheepsehad Bites. We’d just love to follow how this drama plays out in court.

Source: pubadvocate.nyc.gov

Several local businesses routinely express frustration to Sheepshead Bites about the number of fines the city has doled out, whether it be for trash, health inspections or obscure signage regulations. And, according to the complaints we get, it seems inspectors of businesses are unfamiliar with many of the regulations and sometimes apply them inconsistently.

But though it may seem like the city is cracking down and issuing more fines as the city struggles with the economic recession, data on the number of fines given out has been hard to come by.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is trying to fix that. He has announced his plans to sue Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city agencies in order to force them to reveal information regarding the amount of fines given, and the income generated from those fines.

Currently, there are 20 agencies involved in small businesses-related regulations. According to an analysis performed by de Blasio’s office, cited by the New York Times, fines collected by these organizations have jumped from $485 million in the 2002 fiscal year, when Bloomberg was elected, to a whopping $820 million in this past fiscal year.

De Blasio told the paper that he has been pushing six of the offices involved in regulating small businesses to release information about these fines for several months now. He said that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Department of Consumer Affairs told him they were in the process of compiling a response. The Transportation Department, Sanitation Department, Buildings Department and Finance Department failed to reply to his requests.

“We’re just not going to stand for it anymore,” de Blasio told the paper.

Marc LaVorgna, Bloomberg’s spokespman said the city will respond to de Blasio and provide this information soon. He argued that the main source of rise in fines over the past 10 years is driving tickets. The fines have increased for parking tickets and moving violations, while more tickets for running red lights have been distributed, as the city installed more cameras by traffic lights.