Tag Archives: traffic violation

Concerns about Aggressive Enforcement of NYC Jaywalking Laws

Not everyone is in favor of the decision by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton focus on the jaywalking crackdown in the city. Although the task force is not an official part of the mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities in New York City, the goals of the task force certainly mesh with those of the larger policy. In fact, Mayor de Blasio stated that educating the public about the dangers of jaywalking was a major part of his plan to curb traffic deaths.

Right of Way, a grassroots organization dedicated to street safety, has objected to the recent crackdown on jaywalking as a form of “victim blaming.” Although Right of Way generally supports the “Vision Zero” plan, group organizers have cautioned that the NYPD should be targeting reckless drivers, not pedestrians. The traffic safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has echoed these sentiments, with members stating that NYC officials should be trying to protect “the most vulnerable users of our streets” by focusing on the reckless actions of drivers, not walkers.

There are a number of concerns being raised about the NYPD crackdown on jaywalking, including:

• The fines imposed are disproportionately punitive – Fines for jaywalking are determined by local departments, with some NYC courts imposing fines as high as $250.
• Denial of civil rights – Critics of the recent crackdown on jaywalking point to a violent incident that occurred as a direct result of the new enforcement policy. While targeting a particularly dangerous intersection at Broadway and 96th Street, NYPD allegedly assaulted an 84-year-old man who they saw jaywalking. Kang Chun Wong suffered visually disturbing injuries, including a severe gash to his head, when he was accused of jaywalking at the intersection and wrestled to the ground by police officers. An attorney for Wong indicated that he would be filing a civil suit against the city for $5 million. The concern generated by incidents like this is that greater safety for pedestrians in NYC will come at the expense of civil rights.
• Waste of government resources – Reports indicate that undercover cops have been used to catch both jaywalkers and drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. The obvious question is whether these officers could be used in more valuable ways. Using undercover cops to issue minor traffic citations seems unnecessary at best and wasteful at worst.

Given the spate of pedestrian deaths in New York City to begin the year, everyone seems to be in agreement that the main focus of any traffic safety program needs to be on reckless drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians with the right of way and distracted drivers who put everyone on city streets at risk. To this end, NYPD officers have also issued several summonses to drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians.

According to reports, the aggressive response to jaywalking was specifically prompted by three pedestrian deaths on the Upper West Side over a nine-day period. Police targeted jaywalkers in several areas, including the Upper West Side and Brooklyn. Not surprisingly, several summonses have been issued in the Upper West Side neighborhood where a nine-year-old boy was killed while walking in a crosswalk at a busy intersection last month.

If you’ve received a traffic ticket for reckless driving or failure to yield in New York City, contact the experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC by calling 866-642-3807 for a free consultation about your case.

Pedestrian Deaths Prompt NYC Police to Enforce Jaywalking Law

In response to the deaths of at least a dozen pedestrians so far this year, New York City police officers have begun enforcing jaywalking laws. This also comes on the heels of a reported 172 pedestrian deaths in NYC traffic accidents in 2013.

Jaywalking fines in New York City are set by local courts, so they tend to vary across jurisdictions. In some areas of the city, jaywalking fines are just $40. However, there have been reports that on the Upper West Side of New York City, jaywalking fines are as high as $250.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious “Vision Zero” plan, which aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities within the next 10 years, has gotten off to a rocky start. The new mayor recently referred to the rash of pedestrian deaths as “an epidemic” that needs to be stopped.

The most frequent violators of the jaywalking law are NYC locals, who often grow impatient waiting for lights to change to green at intersections that they walk past every day. Authorities recognize that these locals will be reluctant to change daily habits, so they remain sensitive to the needs of the more than eight million people who occupy the crowded city streets. To that end, the Vision Zero plan focuses on drivers, not pedestrians, with particular attention being paid to overly aggressive driving and redesigning dangerous intersections in the city. In fact, the NYC police initiative to strictly enforce jaywalking laws is not a part of the Vision Zero plan.

The focus on pedestrians by local police departments has been met with criticism from traffic safety organizations who, like the NYC mayor, believe that traffic fatalities are caused primarily by hasty and dangerous driving. Nonetheless, NYC police are now actively enforcing the city’s jaywalking rule. During the first three weeks of the year, New York City police officers issued 65 summonses for jaywalking. This is in stark contrast to the same time period last year, during which just 12 jaywalking summonses were issued.

If you’ve been ticketed for jaywalking or if you’ve received a traffic ticket in New York City, contact the experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC.  Call 866-642-3807 for a free consultation about your case.

‘Vision Zero Clock’ Aims to Monitor Success of NYC Mayor’s Plan

NYC mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan calls for an end to all traffic fatalities on NYC streets within the next 10 years. In order to achieve this, city officials will redesign unsafe intersections, make dangerous sidewalks and medians wider, expand the number of 20-mph “slow zones,” encourage NYPD enforcement of existing traffic laws, and increase the number of mobile traffic cameras. The plan is certainly ambitious, considering a New York Post report that at least 220 New Yorkers were killed in traffic accidents in 2013.

The advocacy group Right of Way has responded to the plan by creating a website, titled the “Vision Zero Clock,” to help keep track of the progress of the traffic safety plan. The “clock” tracks whether the plan is on course to fulfill de Blasio’s promise of zero traffic fatalities by 2024. More specifically, the clock lists four categories – pedestrians, cyclists, drivers & passengers, and total auto deaths – and notes the number of traffic-related deaths in each category.

As part of Right of Way’s efforts to keep the public aware of the effectiveness of the plan, the group has also started a Twitter campaign. Each time a traffic-related death occurs in New York City, the group will send out a tweet via dozens of Twitter accounts. According to the self-described “activist” group’s website, the twitter campaign is meant to remind the new mayor “of his promise to achieve Vision Zero by 2024.”

Although the Right of Way website may be seen by some as a criticism of the Vision Zero plan, the group has strongly supported the mayor’s efforts to reduce traffic deaths in NYC. In fact, a statement by the group’s organizer, Keegan Stephen, declared that “Vision Zero must remain a top priority.”

The Right of Way “Vision Zero Clock,” he said, is merely intended to provide transparency about the effectiveness of the plan.

If you have received a traffic ticket in New York or are worried about losing your driver’s license, do not hesitate to contact the experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. Call 866-642-3807 for your free initial consultation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ‘Vision Zero’ Plan to Reduce Traffic Deaths in NYC

Shortly after Bill de Blasio was sworn in as New York’s new mayor, he unveiled an ambitious new plan to reduce traffic fatalities in New York City to zero within the next 10 years. The plan focuses in particular on preventing pedestrian deaths.

According to the NYC Department of Transportation, there were 274 traffic deaths in the city in 2012. The new plan envisions a city with zero fatalities or serious injuries caused by car crashes, with De Blasio calling on everyone in New York City to agree that “even one death on our streets is unacceptable.”

The plan takes a comprehensive approach to traffic safety reform, with several different components that would work in tandem to create a safe space for New York drivers:

  • Smart street design: Improve of at least 50 unsafe roadways, corridors, and intersections throughout the city each year, focusing in particular on streets that have been identified as the most dangerous
  • Expansion of 20-mph “slow zones:” Quadruple the current number of NYC Department of Transportation “slow zones” within four years, providing an alternative to the 30-mph zones everywhere else in the city
  • Add dedicated bicycle lanes: Reduce bicycle accidents by making bicycle lanes safer for bicyclists
  • Strict enforcement: Increase the focus on NYPD enforcement of existing traffic safety laws like reckless driving, speeding, failure to signal, and failure to yield to pedestrians
  • Thorough investigation: Encourage the NYPD to carefully investigate crashes that injure pedestrians
  • Increased use of traffic cameras: Increase the use red light cameras and speed enforcement cameras as deterrents to dangerous behavior on NYC roads
  • Implement “home rule” on traffic laws: Avoid city-state clashes by wresting NYC control of traffic laws from the state legislature in Albany

If you have received a traffic ticket in New York or are worried about losing your driver’s license, contact the experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. Call 866-642-3807 for a free consultation about your case.

Speeders Support Greater Enforcement of Speed Laws


According to federal data, speeding is responsible for one-third of all traffic fatalities on US roads. The National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior, an annual survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), revealed that many Americans hold inconsistent views about speeding.

David Strickland, the NHTSA administrator, reflected on the survey results and observed that “motorists who drive at excessive speeds put themselves and others at an increased risk of being involved in a crash and possibly of being injured or killed.”

Survey Reveals Paradoxical Norms and Attitudes about Speeding

Although nearly 25 percent of people surveyed admitted to speeding, more than 90 percent expressed a desire for everyone to obey speed limits. The survey results suggest that American drivers want others to avoid speeding but are not quite so willing to stop speeding themselves.

Nearly half of people surveyed believe that more measures should be taken to ensure compliance with speed limits and reduce speeding on roadways. However, respondents differed on the types of measures that they would support. Two-thirds of people surveyed indicated that they want more frequent ticketing for speeding. However, only 41 percent of respondents want higher fines for speeders, suggesting an uneasy relationship between safety concerns and financial considerations.

An optimistic view of the survey results is that the heightened and more visible presence of traffic law enforcement on roadways has led to changing attitudes regarding speeding. Since 1997, the first year in which the annual NHTSA survey was conducted, the percentage of people who admit to enjoying the feeling of driving fast has dipped from 40 percent to just 27 percent.

Unfortunately, speeding remains a significant problem for thrill-seeking younger drivers. The survey found that 11 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 have been involved in a speeding-related crash during the previous five years. This number is all the more alarming when one considers that many of these drivers have not been able to drive for the entire five-year period.

According to federal data, speeding was a factor in motor vehicle crashes that killed more than 120,000 people in the US in the past decade. Nonetheless, opponents of those calling for an increased focus on the dangers of speeding argue that high speeds obscure more prevalent causes of car crashes. Drunk driving (DUI/DWI), distracted driving, and even mechanical defects, they say, are more likely to cause fatal car accidents.

Regardless of the cause, a motor vehicle accident can result in serious injuries and possibly even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash in New York, do not hesitate to contact the experienced traffic defense and personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. Call 866-642-3807 for your free consultation.