Dangerous Driving Initiative in New York City

NYPD “Cracks Down” on Aggressive and Distracted Drivers

The streets of New York are filled with traffic and congestion on a daily basis, making aggressive and distracted driving all the more dangerous. To combat these issues, the NYPD has been conducting dangerous driving stings throughout the city in the month of June. In particular, NYPD officers will focus on intersections, where many serious car accidents occur.

NYPD traffic officers have been out in large numbers at intersections throughout the city, looking for drivers who speed, run red lights, fail to yield to pedestrians, drive while using their cell phones, or commit other traffic offenses near dangerous intersections.

It is a 21-day operation in June that is actually the longest traffic enforcement initiative so far this year. In May, NYPD officers conducted three-day sweeps throughout the city that targeted aggressive and distracted drivers, and those initiatives resulted in thousands of tickets. According to NBC New York, the 21-day operation means traffic officers will be visible at major intersections throughout all five boroughs of the city, and they will be ready to ticket drivers that create dangerous conditions for pedestrians and other drivers.

Dangerous Driving Facts and Figures

What is dangerous driving? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), dangerous driving includes distracted driving, impaired driving, and/or aggressive driving. Each type of dangerous driving is a specific problem with its own features.

Aggressive driving, says the NSC, is any type of driving behavior that involves “speeding, frequent and unnecessary lane changes, tailgating, and running red or yellow lights.” When it comes to serious accidents caused by aggressive driving, speeding tends to be the primary factor.

The NSC reports that accidents related to aggressive driving actually have increased in recent years. Why the increase? The NSC suggests some of the following explanations for the rise in aggressive driving behaviors:

  • Irresponsible driving: whether drivers are competitive or simply thinking only of their own rights on the road, irresponsible driving can result in serious accidents.
  • Limited traffic law enforcement: many drivers assume they can get away with aggressive driving behaviors, but operations like the one conducted by the NYPD should help to dispel this idea in the five boroughs.
  • Traffic in urban areas: many drivers become frustrated when they are stuck in traffic and respond by behaving aggressively behind the wheel.

What about distracted driving? With increased use of technological innovations like GPS devices and smart phones, accidents resulting from distracted driving have risen substantially over the last decade. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, using a cell phone while driving—which includes talking while driving and texting while driving—is the number one cause of distracted driving accidents. In fact, the NSC reports that, “at any given daylight moment, 9 percent of drivers are talking on phones.”

Hopefully, the NYPD’s efforts to crackdown on dangerous driving will result in less car accidents this year. Always remember to obey traffic and safety rules while on the road. Every safe driver makes a difference.

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