The NYPD failed to issue a single speeding citation last month in Brooklyn's 76th [PDF] and 78th [PDF] Precincts. To be fair, it's possible that not a single motorist exceeded the speed limit in Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, or Park Slope.
Park Slope's 78th Precinct includes the spot where 12-year-old Samuel Cohen-Eckstein was struck by a van and killed earlier this month as he ran to retrieve his ball on Prospect Park West.
The NYPD told the Daily News that speed wasn't a factor in the crash that killed the boy, but his mother, Amy Cohen, is set to testify today before the City Council's Transportation Committee in support of creating a citywide speed limit of 20 mph. The News clocked 25 speeding vehicles in a span of 15 minutes on Prospect Park West near the spot where Cohen's son was killed.
“PPW has always been like a thoroughfare. There’s always cars whipping down the street," Cohen said.
“The cars just be burnin' it down here,” a 62-year-old cyclist told the News. “Cops give you tickets for riding bikes on the sidewalk but they do nothing about speeding. It's just crazy."
Together the 78th and 76th Precincts issued 98 tickets for tinted windows and 238 tickets for cell phone usage last month.
Speed was the most common factor in pedestrian fatalities last year, yet beyond the recent Speeding Crackdown Weekend, the NYPD has been reluctant to commit substantial resources to addressing the problem.
"You have to have calibrated devices to give speeding summonses, you need experts," NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly told City Council members at a hearing last spring, explaining why the department issues many more tickets for tinted windows and cell phone usage than speeding.
Last month the head of the NYPD's Highway Division told the Transportation Committee that each precinct had four radar guns. "I doubt every precinct has four, I just find that hard to believe," committee chair James Vacca said later. "I will be pursuing this."
Taking another look at last month's moving violations data, it appears that the lower half of Midtown Manhattan is a tranquil meadow while the upper half is filled with peril: Midtown South [PDF] issued 0 speeding citations last month, while Midtown North [PDF] had 23.
Lower Manhattan's 7th Precinct [PDF], home to the Delancey Street 500, issued a whopping six speeding citations (and zero citations for tailgating). The Bowery's 5th Precinct, where cars speed to get on and off the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges issued zero speeding citations last month.
Queens precincts that experience heavy traffic have speeding citation numbers in the low teens and 20s. This month's gold star goes to the 26th Precinct in Morningside Heights [PDF], which issued 94 speeding tickets last month, along with the standard 124 cell phone citations.