NYPD to boost patrols to target speeders, reckless drivers for July 4th weekend
Since the pandemic, more motorists are driving recklessly, more are blowing speed limits and more are fleeing the scenes of crashes, according to the NYPD, and the department says that more cops are being deployed over the Fourth of July weekend to stop the trend.
Speaking in lower Manhattan on Thursday morning outside police headquarters, the NYPD’s chief of transportation, Kim Y. Royster, said cops would also be on the lookout for motorists who are drunk, high or otherwise under the influence.
"Let me be clear: If you decide to be selfish and get behind the wheel while impaired, the NYPD will arrest you, will take your vehicle, and you will learn the consequences," she said.
She said the July Fourth deployment would include a focus on areas where motorists are known to violate traffic laws. Neither she nor the commissioner of the city transportation department, Hank Gutman, gave specifics of which areas would be the subject of the increased attention and when, or how exactly enforcement will differ this July Fourth from prior ones.
Royster said the deployment of cops would come in part from the 77 local police precincts that cover the five boroughs, as well as highway patrol officers.
The year 2021 is on pace to be the deadliest month in traffic since Bill de Blasio took office — despite a Vision Zero traffic safety plan being a cornerstone of his eight years as mayor. The special July Fourth weekend enforcement will be in effect from Friday to nighttime on Monday, July 5, Royster said. She said cops would also be on the lookout to protect cyclists from motorists.
"Cyclists are our most vulnerable," she said, adding that motorists who park in bike lanes and bus lanes would be issued summonses. This includes cops, firefighters and other civil servants who park personal vehicles illegally there.
"We want to build trust with the community, and one of the things is to make sure that we’re following the rules just as we’re enforcing the rules," she said.
Parking in bike lanes imperils cyclists by forcing them to navigate into traffic lanes.