NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea denied Monday that cops were turning a blind eye to speeders — the day after a Post report found cop-issued tickets plummeted in recent months even as camera-issued citations remained steady.
Cops issued just 5,039 traffic tickets during the third week of July, down 74 percent from the 20,762 that officers handed out during the third week of February — before stay-at-home orders were issued.
And the city slapped speedsters with 81,414 summonses for blowing through school zones during the period — an 11-percent rise from the 73,420 summons issued for speed-camera violations during the third week of February.
But while the figures suggest New Yorkers were speeding at the same rate they did pre-pandemic, Shea still claimed Monday that cops were issuing fewer tickets because the roads were emptier.
“I don’t know what’s exactly behind those numbers you’re saying,” Shea told NY1. “That they’re less cars on the road, is also a factor.”
When asked directly whether cops were looking away and writing fewer tickets, he replied that they weren’t.
“No. And we heard this at times with the violence too,” Shea said, referring to the recent uptick in gunplay across the city. “There are a lot of factors at play here. Certainly some officers have been pulled out of normal assignments, that’s true too, to be fair. But no, I wouldn’t say that.”
Gun arrests have trended down this year and were down 35 percent for the third week of July — the 13th through the 19th — as compared to the same period in 2019, NYPD data shows.
Shea also said that “we saw some people taking advantage of driving too fast” as early as April, but the department “moved some targeted resources to conduct some speed enforcement.”
He added that citywide, “accidents with injuries are down, pedestrian injuries are down and these numbers are down pretty significantly.”
“Bicycle injuries are down, fatalities are down, we’re going to continue to vigorously make sure that people are obeying the state limits,” Shea said. “But we’re going to do it with precision — same as crime — and not with a hammer here.”
Source: New York Post
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