We all hate traffic tickets. But ask anyone who lives in New York, and they'll tell you that driving can be a little nuts. People run lights, zoom down quiet streets, and generally terrorize the masses. New mayor Bill de Blasio said no more to that, and the result is that traffic violations have gone way up.
I'm going to reiterate again that I hate traffic tickets. Getting one, especially when it's unjustified, can ruin your whole day, your whole week, maybe even your life, if you take things in life really really seriously. Or you get one in the commission of another crime.
But without them, the whole beautiful system of traffic flow that civilization has worked so hard to establish goes straight out the window. School zones suddenly become speedways, stop signs become suggestions, and intersections become potential whirling pools of unending death. Maybe.
Confronted with what is surely a similar situation in New York City, recently installed mayor de Blasio announced his 63-point Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic fatalities. The results of his plan are already coming to fruition, as this gorgeous map from local public radio station WNYC shows.
In some precincts, the number of moving violations cited has increased by a factor of ten.
In the very well-to-do neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill in Brooklyn, just ten tickets for speeding were issued in all of 2013. In the few short months of this year already (it's March 18th, for those who are having trouble on this fine Tuesday), they've issued 100. That's a big increase.
While the numbers from the 84th precinct can sound unusual, traffic tickets are up all over the city. In most places, police set up unnecessary speed traps to increase revenue, but every pedestrian in NYC has experienced someone on an iPhone going twice the speed limit down streets lined with kids playing on the sidewalk.
Now if only de Blasio followed his own advice.